verse of the day

Monday, 30 November 2015

I will pray for you. [ Isaiah 59 v16

Just recently a friend who is not a Christian,shared with me a problem he was having.As I listened I said some things,but the problem was difficult,
and in end I said simply I will pray for you,and he thanked me.Life can be so complicated,and one is not sure what to say to people,oh I know God can give us insight,but often if we are honest,we do not know the answer.So the best thing to do is pray about it,for I believe God is able to solve every problem.When we pray we are declaring that we need Him to resolve the difficulties,and to undertake,does this all sound to simple?,yes it is simple,
but is the wisest thing to do. Consider the time without number God sorted things out,often the situation was beyond us.Often we caused the problem ourselves,we see this  during that time at the time of the judges.,but God who is merciful helped them.It will be interesting to see how God will answer my prayer,for my friend,but I believe he will, he is not saved,but I am,and so I have confidence,that God will undertake,I do not know how,or when, but I know God my Father,He is a God of mercy and of grace,has He not shown this, by sending Jesus to die for the ungodly,consider how God has undertaken for us,in so many ,many ways,so pray believing.
                                             A  prayer.
Dear God we thank you that you not only hear our prayers,and in a very
loving way,answer them in Jesus name . Amen.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Blessings. [1 Timothy 6 v 5-19 ]

One of my sons ,attended a large church gathering,he mentioned a few things,how he was blessed by two testimonies of Gods saving power.
There were other things he appreciated,but he was critical of the preacher
who  misquoted scripture and seem to forget the context. Then there was the
emphasise on money ,which was over the top,emotional blackmail. Now I know that as a Christian,I am responsible ,to God,to give as God has blessed
me,I have known this all my Christian life. I do not believe I am under the law of tithing,but I use that as a principal,we do not give to get,but Gods word tells us to give and it shall be given unto us.I have found this to be true in my experience. But one thing I do not like is emotional blackmail,I do not need to be loaded with guilt, because God has blessed me.For all I have comes from God,we read in1Timothy 6 v17,that God richly provides us with everything ,for our enjoyment.Today thank Him for His blessings,but be careful that none of us put our hope in them,May we all do good,and be rich in good deeds,and be generous and willing to share.[1 Timothy 6 v18]
                                        A  prayer.
Dear God we thank your  for your many blessings,the enjoyment they give us,help us to be like You,and bless others as you have blessed us,in Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

All the lonely people. [ Genesis 2 v18]

My wife is about to change jobs,and she is finding it hard,she has worked in the same job for over 9yrs.She works in what we call the caring profession as indeed I did,for 23yrs,it was for both my wife and myself,not just a job. No it was a calling,and was very rewarding, but here is a thought,should  we
not all be in the business of caring. It goes without saying that we live in a world that desperately needs people to be in the business of caring.The Beatles sang about all the lonely people ,where do they all come from?, loneliness is a very serious condition, and its not only old people who are lonely. Loneliness effects all ages,children get lured into wrong relationships.because they are lonely.The wonderful story of Robinson Crusoe ,written by Daniel De foe,tells of a man who was shipwrecked on a desert island ,for many years.Then there came a person into his life who he named Man Friday,that was a blessing,he had now a fellow human being for company. Yet loneliness is not easy to explain,but God saw mans need ,and gave him a companion called Eve,we are social beings,so let us look out for those lonely people and be sociable.
                                          A prayer.
Dear God and Father,we realise that only you can meet the need of the human  heart,in your son Jesus, Amen.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Agape [ Genesis 50 v 15-21]

Let us return to the challenge of agape that word which describes the challenge that all Christians,are called to live out.We can call it Christian love,William Barclay has many interesting things to say on this aspect of love,he writes,/Christian love, is not merely an emotional experience,which comes to us unbidden and unsought,it is a deliberate principle of the mind,
and a deliberate conquest and achievement of the will.It is in fact the power
to love the unlovable,to love people we do not like/ He does stress the difference as to how we love our nearest and dearest,and then goes on to sum up ,/that  Christian love demands that we should have at all times a certain attitude of the mind and a certain direction of the will towards all men,no matter who they are./ I remember reading about a missionary called
Isobel Kuhn ,its a long time ago since I read this,but basically she pointed out the unpleasantness of those she worked with.Their lack of social skills,hygiene,and general appearance left a lot to be desired,but she loved them. But we do not need to go to the missionary field,marriage can bring  a tremendous challenge,what if the person you are married to snores,or has bad breath,or has irritating habits that drive you crazy,whats the answer?,
the answer is agape,Christian love.
                                             A  prayer.
Dear God help us to rise to the challenge of agape,with those I live with,and
with all I come in contact with in Jesus name Amen .

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Love [ John 3 v16 ]

In his book  New Testament words,William Barclay touches on the word love,he explains that in English we have only have one word for love.The Greeks have four words for love,and one of them is agape,[The NT was written in Greek], It has a very profound challenging meaning,which W .
Barclay explains in great detail,I will quote some of what he wrote,/Agape
love demands the exercise of the whole man ,Christian love must not only
extend to our nearest and dearest,our kith and kin,our friends and those who love us; Christian love must extend to the Christian fellowship,to the neighbour,to the enemy,to all the world/.In John 3 v16 we read that God loves this world,let us think about what that means for you and I, it must bring a challenge to all of us to broaden our limited concept of what love involves, it is a love that has no limits.
                                         A prayer.
Dear God we thank you for your world wide love,help us to appreciate what
that means for us your children in Jesus name Amen.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

But then. [1 Corinthians 13 v 9-13]

We read  in 1 Corinthians 13 v 12,'For now we see through a glass darkly',
what we are being told here is,our limited understanding as to truth,as to
the things we experience.There are things in the word of God I do not fully
understand,who can fully grasp Gods attributes and His ways.Yes we know in part,but just in part,but then ,says Paul we will enter into a fuller and greater knowledge,of heaven,and the God of heaven.As to Gods ways,well we all can say we know in part, so many dear children of God are wondering why,this  happen and that has happened in their lives.Why one person is healed and others are not,the why, will always be with us,because we only see through a glass darkly.The man who penned those words suffered greatly,and would die a martyrs death,why?. We do not know why when he got saved he was told that he would experience suffering [Acts 9 v16].We are told that as Christians we will suffer,but often we are left wondering why?.We know in part,not fully,but says Paul,'but then,face to face,now I know in part,but then shall I know,even as also I am known.'
                                Farther along we'll know all about it.
                                Farther along we'll understand why;
                                Cheer up my brother,live in the sunshine,
                                We'll understand it all by and by.
                                        [Words by W.B. Stevens ]

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Safe and secure. [ Psalm 121 ]

Leaning,leaning,safe and secure from all alarms.Leaning,leaning,leaning on
the everlasting arms. The question is, can you say this, can I say this?,do we feel safe and secure?,the words of that old hymn ,come as a challenge,and a comfort.A challenge,as to what we are trusting in?,is it in the Lord?,or is it in self,remember Samson,he who slew Gods enemies. He was strong but he had a weakness,in the shape of a woman called Delilah,and she managed
to find  out the secret of his strength.So while he slept she gave him a
haircut,he was a Nazerite ,which meant he had to abide to certain conditions
,one of them was he was not to have his hair cut.The moment he had his hair cut  ,the Lord departed from him[Judges 16 v20].In other words he
lost his strength,and then he lost his eyes,and then he lost his freedom.Like Samson we can easily forget where are strength and security lies,not in any natural ability,be it our natural fitness,or our finance's. No, none of these things can be seen as a child of Gods security.Here is the word of the Lord
for all of us today,The Lord is my light and my salvation,whom shall I fear?
the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid. [Psalm 27 v1 ]
                                What have I to dread,what have I to dread,
                                 Leaning on the everlasting arms;
                                I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
                                 Leaning on the everlasting arms.
                                 [Words by E.F. Hoffman ]

Monday, 23 November 2015

Temptation [ Matthew 6 v13]

When our Saviour was tempted by the Devil,[ Luke 4 v1ff],the first temptation was to turn stones into bread.If you are the Son of God,said the Devil,turn this stone into bread, as if Jesus needed evidence who He was,He always knew who He was[ cp 2 v41ff].Let us remember who Jesus was ,
truly God and truly man,this is  something that the word of God clearly teaches.We cannot prove this truth by our rational minds,it is only entered into by faith,as is the doctrine of the sovereignty of God,as is the doctrine of hell and heaven.Remember the devil who is a liar [John 8 v44],will always seek to undermine faith, Consider how vulnerable Jesus was,he had not eaten for 40 days,he was starving,again remember the devil is waiting to catch us out when we are most vulnerable.The devil we are told goes about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour  [1 Peter 5 v8 ],but he also comes to us as a serpent,like he did with our first parents[Genesis 3].The fact is whatever way he comes ,we must stand firm,and resist him,how?,
the Bible tells us,/standing firm in the faith/,faith in God and His word,if we do we are assured,he will flee from us[James 4 v7],
                                      A  prayer.
Dear God grant us grace to overcome Satan in Jesus name Amen .

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Man the inventer.[ Psalm 106 ]

In the book ,'A  History of Christianity', Diarmond McCullough,he writes
about the Greek gods,'that they were often fickle,petty,partisan,passionate, competitive-in other words,rather like Greeks themselves'.God forbid the making of graven images,of any likeness.but mankind find it hard to break the habit.One of the things that took place at reformation was,images were cleared out of places of worship,I was struck with this when I visited the cathedral in Malta's capital,which was filled with so much,in contrast with the cathedrals in England.The reformers sought to remove all the rubbish that had accumulated over centuries,statues of saints,of Mary,and relics.The places of worship became bare plain buildings,and the emphasise was on Gods word.But men like the Greeks of old still invent gods in their own image,still harp after so much rubbish,and reject the truth of Gods word,because it challenges  then to a relationship of faith in Him who is
invisible.The cry of so many is what must I do to be saved,and when they are told the uncomplicated truth,simply to believe on the Lord Jesus,they turn away.Because like the Gods that the Greeks of old they would prefer
a god ,and a way of salvation ,that  they have invented.
                                         A prayer.
Dear God we thank you that we have your word,and in that word,you have revealed yourself,and how we can be saved ,and how we can be kept from straying from your word,and your dear son Jesus Amen.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Amazing [Ephesians 2 1-8]

The other evening I attended a show at a local theator,called Celtic Women,
as you may guess it had an Irish flavour to it.I admire the wonderful gifts that  the performers manifested.One young woman amazed me as she danced around while playing the fiddle.The highlight of the show for me,was when a lone piper walked up the isle,and unto the stage,playing 'Amazing grace,'he was joined by other performers,who sang the words to that wonderful,hymn ,and as I listened,tears started to flow from my eyes. I was reminded of a  woman in Luke 7v37-50,who came to were Jesus was,and washed his feet with her tears.Why ?,because she experienced the forgiveness of all her sins.Like that dear person,I shed tears for the Christ who touched my life with his amazing saving grace, forgiving me all my sins.
                           Amazing grace ,how sweet the sound,
                            that saved a wretch like me.
                            I once was lost ,but now am found,
                            was blind ,but now I see.
                              [Words by John Newton.]

Friday, 20 November 2015

All will be well. [John 14 v1 ]

Recently I touched on the subject as to when the end will come, that before that happens there will be wars and rumours of wars,that nation will rise against nation,there will be famine and earthquakes in various places[Matthew 24v6-7] The history of mankind in relation to violence is frightening,and last week we were reminded afresh of its awfulness,when
gun men murdered over a hundred people.The fact of the matter is we cannot be given a guarantee that where we live will escape such violence.
A famous Prime minister,held up a piece of paper,and uttered those famous words ,/Peace in our time/.Shortly after that a world war commenced resulting in million upon millions of lives being destroyed.People would suffer untold misery and pain,such is the reality on planet earth,and make no mistake it will not change.Now as I listened to the reports of the violence in
Paris,my heart was so sad,at the suffering being caused,but I also felt my heart becoming a little bit fearful,but then I remembered what our Saviour
said,'but see to it that you are not alarmed'[Matthew24 v 6]A little chorus
comes to mind,/God is still on the throne, and He will remember His own./
Dear child of God panic not nor be afraid ,our sovereign God still rules and reigns over all things.He wants to assure all his children that they are under
his care,so whatever we may witness and whatever we may be going through,all,all ,will be well.
                                             A prayer.
Dear God and Father we thank you that you are in control,that our Saviour
has all power ,and in spite of wars and rumours of war,and so many other
things,you would say fear not,to us your dear children,in Jesus name we pray this Amen.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Soften my heart. [John 11 v 35 ]

I am often amazed how those who report on news event,do it in a cold detachment manner,or so it appears.But recently a crack of light broke though as a reporter who was covering the events in Paris ,broke down while giving his report.It reminded me of a similar incident many years ago,when I lived in Belfast,that day became known as bloody Friday,when the IRA planted a number of bombs,that injured and killed a number of people.When the BBC reporter was given his report,he broke down also. Instead of complaining about those two reporters, we applaud them,for showing a quality in their lives that of empathy,and compassion.We can watch the news day after day,hearing and witnessing awful things,and it sometimes feels we have become desensitised,to the suffering of others. I am sure it would be profitable to pray that God would grant us a heart that feels for others suffering.not only their physical,mental,or whatever , but
for the multitudes who are lost,and going to a lost eternity,who desperately need Christ.
                                          A  prayer.
                            Soften my heart Lord,soften my ,
                             From all indifference set me apart,
                             To feel Your compassion,
                             To weep with Your tears.
                             Come soften my heart,O  Lord,
                             Soften my heart.
                             [ Words by G. Kendrick ]


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Empty hands. [Luke 18 v 10 ff.]

Jesus said that not everyone who called Him Lord would enter into the kingdom of heaven,many will say ,we have prophesied in your name,and in your name had cast out devils,and in your name done many wonderful works, and He will say to them, I never knew you.depart from me,ye that work iniquity[Matthew 7 v 21-23 ]It would appear their profession,was but empty words,and they appear to not appreciate, that our Lord wants genuine followers.Also when we stand before Him we we must remember that it is not what we do that saves us.There was great Christian scholar who wrote the following,'So you allow me good faith,I have never conceded myself good faith. And when once day comes when I have to appear before my Lord,then I will not come with my deeds,with the volumes of my Dogmatics in the basket upon my back. All the angels there would have to laugh. But then I shall also not say,I have always meant well,I had good faith, No, then I will only say one thing,Lord be merciful to me a poor sinner.'
                                          A prayer.
Dear God forgive us for looking beyond what Christ your son has done,
in your mercy save us in His name . Amen.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Heaven rejoices [Luke 15 ]

 I do love hearing or reading something that makes me laugh.I even try to make jokes up,though I think I better keep my day job,even though I am retired.Do we have any jokes in the Bible?,I cannot think of any,yet the Bible speaks of joy,and happiness,of rejoicing,I wonder what are the things that gave you joy, happiness, or what causes you to rejoice?.Well in Luke 15 ,we read how our Saviour was surrounded by people whom the society at that time considered sinners.Watching were the strict religious people a called  Pharisees ,who would not be seen dead talking to those sort of people. Their reaction was, they muttered,among themselves,saying this man welcomes sinners,and eats with them.Now to eat with such people was consider an act of acceptance,and that would never do for the Pharisees.So Jesus very patiently tells three stories short stories,about a sheep ,a coin,and wayward son,that  got lost,and then was found. Jesus explained that when the worst in society be they a family member ,or whoever turns to God for forgiveness,then heaven itself rejoices.The fact is this ,Jesus died for sinners,and when one turns to Him for salvation,heaven itself rejoices,it makes heaven happy.
                                            A  prayer.
Dear God we thank you for sending Jesus to seek and to save the lost,
and when  they are saved heaven itself rejoices ,Amen .

Monday, 16 November 2015

Answers to prayer. [Jeremiah 29 v 12-13]

A Christian friend told me about a wonder answer to prayer,years ago he
needed a car,so one evening he asked God to provide him with a car. The next day a friend he not seen for a good while,phoned him,he was pastor,  his church had paid for him to purchase a car. Then he said ,the Lord told him to give his old car to my friend,this he did. a wonderful answer  to prayer. In answer to our prayers God in his will,can provide us money,can get us a job,can heal,can deliver,can save us and set us free,will guide I stress in His will,better not to get what we prayed for if it is not his will.Also prayer may not be answered right away,it may,our faith may  tested,of course faith will always be tested.Elijah that great man of
faith prayed and it stopped raining ,but when he prayed that it would rain again, he had to pray seven times[1Kings 18 v43-44].Could be we may be the answer to that prayer we pray,possibly God will not respond till we change cp 2 Kings 5 v 12-14.Our very behaviour and atitutude may be hindering our prayer being answered.
                                      A prayer.
Dear God we thank you for the many, many answers to prayer,so right
now we lift our voices to you,and ask that in mercy and will you will answer our prayer in Jesus name Amen .

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Healing [James 5 14-15]

I must confess I am never sure whither God will heal a person or not, I was at a friends recently. He spoke of a man who was not a Christian ,and how his daughter prayed for him and God healed his cancer.He mentioned other
incidences ,of people being healed,in the church in which I was a minister,
two of my members told of healing's ,one was very badly scalded ,she was prayed for,the other told of her father being healed of cancer.Now I have mentioned it before my first wife died of cancer,I did pray,but she died,so you see how I am not sure whither God will  heal a person or not.  God can heal,but may not,but he may,Paul's experience,is an example of this [2 Corinthians 12].Jesus healed many but he did not choose to heal everybody,
we must not think that He has to.Recently while visiting a Christian lady,
she told me that she had cancer,a severe type,it had a high number ,that indicated ,that was very bad.That evening I read James 5 v14-15 ]which tells us to call for the elders anoint the person with oil,and pray in faith,and the person would get well.This was done,she did not become well at that time,but the treatment she is having,appears to be dealing with the cancer.
                                          A  prayer.
Dear God we know that with you,nothing is impossible,help us not rule out
your healing power,in Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Whats important. [ Matthew 16 v26 ]

Leon Morris writes,/When men concentrate on the trivial they are apt to overlook the important/.As we read the life of our Saviour He was continually saying to those He met to consider what is really important.To seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness [Matthew 6 v 33 ]. His words to Peter come as a challenge to all of us ,/do you truly love me more than these things [John 21 v 15].If you are not saved it means you are concentrating on the trivial it means that you have not realized that you are selling your soul like Judus for 30 pieces of silver.When he realized what he had done he went out and hung himself,alas for him,for he had a dreadful end,a lost eternity.What are you trading your soul for?,the words of an old gospel hymn comes to mind ,/if I gained the world but not the Saviour/.Is that you? what is the world you are seeking for? ,it  can be different for all of us.For some they are blinded by lust ,success,things,popularity,the list is endless,whats on your list?.There was a great king who tried everything wealth, pleasure,he had the means and the power.He had hundreds of women,and when he considered all he had achieved and accumulated he declared, everything was meaningless,a chasing after wind[Ecclesiates [2 v11].Let us, not  be a fool,let us get our priorities right,choose Christ and then everything will fall into place.
                                          A  prayer.
Dear God help us to see, that knowing Christ as my Saviour is by far, the most important  thing in all the world Amen.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Go. [ Matthew 28 v 18ff]

Every year in our country we hold remembrance services for those killed in wars,in the 20th century there have been many wars.Britain has had a long history of wars,and as we look at the world today,we still see so many conflicts,and one would love to see the end of war.It is amazing that humanity has not destroyed itself,our Saviour in Matthew 24v6ff spoke about wars and rumours of wars,of nations and kingdoms in conflict ,but then He adds ,but the end is still to come.So when will the end come?, well Jesus tells us,/ The gospel of the kingdom will  be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations,and then the end will come /.He does not give us a date,but simply what must take place before the end comes,and that's where we come in,therefore says Jesus ,go and make disciples of all nations.We can never take the go out of the gospel,the challenge for all believers is to obey what Jesus told us to do,to be His witnesses to a world in conflict a world that is intent on self destruction.We have been given a task,ours is not to question why, we know the why, Jesus has told us,there must be unquestioning obedience.The end will come,it is not for us to know
times or dates,but simply to go and be witnesses for Christ,in the power of the Holy Spirit.[Acts 1 v 7-8]
                                      A  prayer
Dear God forgive us our foolish curiosity as to the end times,help us to simply obey your command and tell other about our Saviour, Amen

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Whispers of Eternity. [ Isaiah 42 v 1- 3 ] ]

There was Elijah,going through a rough time,totally discouraged wanting to get out of all,he felt a failure. He found himself under a tree,exhausted,full
of fear. We would not like people to know that we feeel like Elijah at times, I must confess there are times when I feel a lot of like Elijah,I am not happy all the time.Now as I started to write there was Elijah,he had moved from the tree to a mountain [1 Kings 19v1 ff ],and there God spoke to him,not with a thundering voice.One of my favourite movies is the wizard of Oz ,Dorothy and her three friends travel on the Yellow brick road,and arrive at Oz,were they are ushered into the presence of the wizard of Oz,well they don't see him,but by golly they surely hear him, as he thunders at them,frightening them.Well God did not thunder at Elijah and frighten him,no he spoke with a gentle whisper,yes a gentle whisper.I read these words,whispers of eternity,that is what Elijah heard,whispers of eternity.It is the great prophet Isaiah who prayed for God to rend the heavens and come down[ Isaiah 64],He did come down in the form of a little baby,and in that little child we have ,whispers of eternity.I remember a colleague,telling  me she had prayed to God ,she was not a Christian,and she said nothing happened,the Jews prayed for a sign,God is the God who so often speaks in a gentle whisper,and that whisper is a whisper of eternity.
                             Our blest Redeemer ere He breathed,
                              His tender last farewell,
                               A guide a comforter bequeathed,
                             With us to dwell.
                              And His that gentle voice we hear,
                              Soft as the breath of even,
                               That checks each fault that calms each fear,
                               And speaks of Heaven.
                                 [Words by Harriet Auber]

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Count your blessings.[ James 1 v17 ]

Start up companies are rebooting the quest for clean energy's holy grail:
fusion,when one reads a little about what it means,it appears a step to far,and yet who knows.Man has been endowed with a wonderful brain capacity to invent and discover. Looking back on my life,I have witnessed
so many amazing things , things I could never imagined.I just have to look around my home, my wonderful TV,and the amount of channels I can receive,my computer.Think of the advances in science,in ,sat naves,the treatment of the sick.Also the standard of living that many of us enjoy,is way beyond what our fore fathers could ever have imagined.Man has advanced in so many ways ,and much is good,but in saying man,we appear to have forgotten,the one we owe it all to,even God. In James 1 v17
we read,/Every good gift,and every perfect gift is from above,in other words it is God who has blessed with so many good things.
                   Count your blessings, name them one by one,
                    Count your blessings,see what God has done,
                   Count your blessing,name them one by one.
                     And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
                                 [Words by Johnson Octman]

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

13 Billion sins.[ 1 John 1 v 7]

I wonder if we could count the many sins we have ever committed,this may appear a silly thing to write,but think about it,it is not possible,considering
the wrong words we have uttered,the wrong thoughts,the wrong,I am sure
you get the. idea. Well of course God knows,he as it were has a record of
every sin we have committed,nothing is hidden from Him,with Him there is
no exaggerating,he see's it as it is.It is perfect record of our imperfect lives,
yours and mine,we may say, so what no ones perfect,very true,but it would surprise us to really see how imperfect we all are. This is not very happy reading I know,and what is even more serious, sin will be judged by Jesus.
What I am writing is bit like what many people say about news,there is no good news.But there is for we are told, that the blood of  Jesus Christ
cleanseth us from all sin [1 John1 v7 ],now consider that I had  committed
 13 billion sins, surly there would be no hope for me,13 billion sins, that's a lot,surly all that awaits me is judgement,but consider those words in 1 John 1v7,the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from All Sins. No matter how many times we have sinned,people  may have given up on us,they may think the worst of us,after all 13 billion sins.That may be so but God has not given up on us,he will forgive all our sins,for He is merciful.
                                        A  prayer.
Dear God you know how many sins we have committed,even it was 13 billion sins ,you will forgive us all our sin when we trust Jesus as our Saviour, Amen.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Are we really sinners? [ Romans 3 v23. 6 v23]

A report claims that in America that goods worth 13 Billion dollars are stolen from shops every yea,13Billion dollars is a lot of money, this is carried out by shop lifters. The commandments tell us not to steal,but then who is listening one may ask?.I wonder how many people are committing adultery,how many are cheating on their tax returns,how many are being violent,how many are abusing others.Are Americans any worse that the British,or the Germans?, think of the awful Volkswagen scandal,or North Korea's cruelty to its own population.I  could go on pointing out nations sinful tendencies,as with nations so it is with individuals, consider our thought life,how easy it is to think sinful thoughts,our Saviour ,said adulterous thoughts are the  same as the deed,both are sins.[Matthew 5 v27-28] How is our thought  life?,what about the sins of the tongue,the unclean words ,hurtful words,the gossip we engage in,peoples character we have slain with our words.Need I go on?,well  I could, but all I will say ,Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,that means you,and it means me,in fact it means everybody.
                                      A prayer.
Dear God our sins are many,but through Jesus they can be forgiven,Amen

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Persistence and boldness. [ Luke 11 v5 - 13]

In Luke 11v9-13,our Lord speaks about prayer,he tells a parable ,not all
parables are difficult to understand,some were,and of course there was reason for that CPMark 4v10-12.One the lessons in the passage in Luke ,
which Jesus illustrates is to have holy boldness, and persistence in our prayer life,to not give up.The parable tells of a man who needed something,
and even though it was the middle of the nights,he goes to his friend ,and asks for help,which he eventually receives.Many people do not persist in their prayer life,and so fail to receive an answer.In v9, we have three words used by our Saviour,ask,seek and knock,the emphasises is to keep on asking,keep on seeking,keep on knocking.The result will be, God will answer,prayer is not for the faint hearted,Jesus said that we should always pray and not give up[Luke 18v1ff],again that passage stresses the boldness and persistence,that is rewarded.L .Morris ,writes the following,/Jesus does not say,and does not mean that, if we pray,we shall get exactly what we ask for.After all,'No' is just as definite an answer as 'Yes'.He is saying that true prayer is neither unheard nor unheeded,it is always answered in the way God sees best/
                                          A  prayer.
Dear loving Father teach us how to pray,to not give up,and yet to accept
that your answer is best inJesus name Amen .

Friday, 6 November 2015

Intolerance [ Luke 6 v 26-36 ]

As a Christian there are things I will not accept as being right,if I was to voice these things I would be labelled as being intolerant.Yet we are all intolerant to something,we are intolerant to violence within marriage,to smoking,to unsociable behaviour,and to many other things.There is nothing wrong with being intolerant,but I know that there can often be a wrong
intolerance, Religious people can be very intolerant,likewise  political
movements,both groups can manifest a violent intolerance to those who differ from them,beheading,and condemning people to gas chambers. When I declare that there is only one way to God,that is Jesus,because that's what He taught [John14 v6 ] people get offended, and even become intolerant,at
my belief in Jesus,as the way,the truth,and the life,and that no one can come unto the Father,but by Him. As a follower of Jesus the Bible tells me that to simply say I am Christian,can be like waving a red flag,before a bull.It is reckoned that there are 100,000 Christians in concentration camps in a
certain country,we say just for being a Christian,well it often goes with the
territory. Today let us not shy back from declaring that we are Christians,or from telling others about Christ,because we may be considered intolerant.
                                         A  prayer.
Dear God help us stand for Jesus,to identify with Him,to be faithful witnesses Amen

Thursday, 5 November 2015

What translation ? [ Psalm 119 v11 ]

I love  the Authorised Version of the Bible,it has served Gods people well,yet I do feel it obscures the truth at times.Now that is not the AV's fault, but the fact that it was written and translated during the reign of King James ,over 400 years ago.I have a anniversary version and many of the words are spelt differently ,the word book is spelt booke,this is just one example.Now I understand peoples concern as regards the word of God anything that may appear to undermine  Gods word.Yet the fact remains that the word of God must be readable to the people of now.Now having said that I do not want to discourage you if you just use the AV,as I said I love the AV and thank God for it.J.I.Packer writes,/Some people people feel swamped by so many new versions,and by a natural if irrational reaction are resolved to trust none of them,but stick to the King James version of 1611/.He suggests we should use a number of versions , he includes the AV,
among them,this is what I personally do.I am driven by a desire to understand Gods word,I have read the whole Bible countless of times,but it goes deeper than that,commendable though that may be,to understand Gods
truth is vital.Jesus spoke to people who treasured Gods word but failed to
understand what they read [John 3 v 10]. Whatever translation we may use
may we read it regularly,memorise it,seek to understand it,believe it,and live it.
                                         A prayer.
Dear God we thank you for your word,that reveals Jesus to us,and instructs
us in righteousness,in Jesus name Amen .

No grounds for hope. [Romans 4 v- 18 ff / 5v1]

Although it is early November,the shops are selling Christmas cards,the garden centres are like winter wonder lands.My wife and I spent a day buying Christmas presents.The buying Christmas presents is a big challenge
,because we have a large family.Most of the organising for Christmas falls upon my wife,I must confess if I had to do it I would find it very hard,wives are wonderful in the way they can do so much more than us husbands.
Although Christmas is for many, a secular event,it somehow touches people
so causing them to be more generous,and kind to people,and  one  prays that the true meaning of Christian will be discovered,often it appears a vain hope. Yet I am reminded of the words written about Abraham, that against
hope believed in hope[Romans 4 v18],let us not despair,as to the lost,let us not loose hope.John Calvin comments on those words in Roman 4 v18,puts it like this,/ The meaning is when Abraham had no grounds for hope, Abraham still relied in hope on the promise of hope/.Let not hope die in any of us,Jesus said He would build His Church, even at Christmas,remember
the Holy Spirit even at Christmas,can work in the hearts of the lost.
                         How silently, how silently,
                          the wondrous gift is given,
                         So God imparts to human hearts,
                         the blessing of His heaven.
                         No ear may hear His coming;
                         but in this world of sin,
                         where meek souls ,will receive Him,still
                          the dear Christ enters in.
                         [ Words by Phillips Brooks ]

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Oppression.[ Ephesians 2 v1ff]

The 20th century was a sad time for many people,take Poland ,UK and France went to war when the Nazies invaded  poland,Russia was involved. Under the Nazies the nation experienced great oppression, many non Jews ,suffered greatly.But instead of getting their freedom when the Nazies were defeated, they exchanged one oppressor for another.Now of course Poland had no choice,but that cannot be said of many people.People do have a choice,but unfortunately they make wrong choices. The Bible history of Israel was of a nation who at times sought to clean up their act,
but they never let the Lord take over in their personal lives,or in the nations
life.The result was the latter state of the nation was worse than ever,and so all they did was to exchange one oppressor for another.If one has an addiction one may try to overcome it,but self effort, cannot deal with the empty void , addiction leaves.It was our Saviour who spoke to a thirsty
woman who was drawing water from a well,[ John 4] ,and told her clearly that the secret of satisfaction and freedom was receiving Jesus into her life[v14]Reform does not bring freedom from oppression,only Christ can, if the Son therefore makes you free,ye shall be free indeed[John 8 v 36]
                                            A  prayer.
Dear God in a world  oppressed by one thing or another,we ask that you may open their eyes and hearts,and accept Jesus who alone can set them truly free,Amen.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Death. [John 11 v25-26]

One of Charles Dickens greatest novel's,is ,/A tale of two cities/,it is a historical novel,and Dickens based his historical detail on Carlyle's great
work- The French Revolution.The French revolution was a bloody affair
with many dear people being executed.In a tale of two cities we have an unlikely hero ,an English man,Sydney Carton,who saves someone from being executed by taking his place,and as he faces the guillotine,Dickens has him uttering,words that is described as throwing a sacredness over all the proceeding's. As Sydney faces death he quotes those sacred words ,spoken by our Saviour,/I am the resurrection,and the life:he that believeth in me,though he were dead yet shall he live[John 11 v25].What hope does the scientists,philosopher's,the money people give to help us as we face death?,none whatsoever.I visited a man recently who has cancer
what hope has he?Christ,and only faith in Christ can gave us hope a sure and certain hope.The question I ask you,have you got this hope?,with that hope  Sydney Carton,could say /It is a far, far better thing that
I do,than I have ever done;it is a far , far better rest that I go to than I have ever known./
                                       A prayer.
Dear Lord we thank you when we face the valley of the shadow of death we need fear no evil if we know you as our Saviour. Amen.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Grace [ Ephesians 2 v8- 10]

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor ,he also was a lecturer in Berlin.
he opposed Nazi's.He made a broadcast which  he used to speak against  Hitler,but he was cut of before he finished it.He joined the resistance movement,and was involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler,he was arrested,and was executed shortly before the defeat of Germany.He
believed different things like a religionless Christianity,and that we see Christ as Lord of the religionless.I have heard Christians saying that as Christians we are not religious.He also  wrote a book called,/Cost of discipleship/,where he distinguished between,cheap and costly grace. One
has rightly pointed out that his concept of cheap grace was at odds with Luthers doctrine of Justifcation by faith.I believe Bonhoeffer was seeking to
counter the error, that because we are saved by grace alone, we can live whatever way we like. The fact of the matter , grace should not be turned into a work salvation,grace saves us,works should follow as an evidence of our salvation.It cost God everything to save us,it cost us nothing,yet love so
amazing, so divine demands my soul my life my all.
                                        A   prayer.
Dear God,we worship you the God of all grace,we acknowledge that we are
saved by your grace,and we ask for grace to follow our Saviour your son Jesus Amen.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

One of the saddest verses in the Bible. [Matthew 23 v 37]

In Matthew 23 v37 , Jesus said,/O Jerusalem,Jerusalem, thou that killest the
prophets,and stonest them which are sent unto thee,how often would I have
gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under
her wings, but ye would not./ This is one of the saddest verses in the Bible,
it is God speaking testifying against those who were his people.W. Barclay,
writes,/This passage shows us four great truths.
                                [1] The patience of God.
                                [2] The appeal of Jesus.
                                 [3] The deliberation of the sin of man.
                                [4]The consequences of rejecting Christ .
God is patient,so very, very ,patient,and that is clearly seen in his relationship with Israel,and let me add with you and me.
The appeal of Jesus, W. Barclay ,/Here Jesus speaks as a lover,standing with outstretched hands of appeal,they had as we have the awful responsibility of accepting or refusing.
 As to the deliberation of sinful man,Jesus was speaking to Jerusalem,but it can be applied to all humanity.In my lifetime I have continually prayed for
Christians who are being persecuted,a evidence of mankind's fallen nature
and enmity towards Christ.
 The consequence for the Jews has been awful,judgement would fall,as W. Barclay wrote,/It is a fact of history-even in time-that the nation which
rejects God is doomed to disaster./ This of course applies to everyone not
just nations.
                                     A  prayer.
Dear God have mercy upon Israel even though they still reject your love in
Christ,but also have mercy upon this world,in Jesus name Amen.