verse of the day

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Blessed [Matthew 5 v1 - 12 ]

One of the greatest passages in the NT, is the Sermon on the Mount,spoken by Jesus,and what He taught has influenced many people.John Stott describes them as being the principals of Gods Kingdom,we can read about them in Matthew 5-7, we are going to look at parts of it, starting with the blessed'. Spurgeon wrote,/The word blessed is by some translated happy,but we like blessed best/.My study Bible says,/The term blessed means more than happiness.The Beatitudes don't promise laughter,pleasure,or earthly prosperity.Being blessed by God means to experience hope and joy
independent ,of outward circumstances/While that is true,it can involve happiness,recently while watching a DVD,about people and how they came to Christ,on man who had been looking at what it meant to be become a
Christian,was convinced of the truth of Christianity,went to his friends,and
told them that he believed Christianity to be true,and was going to trust Christ,but from that point on he would stop enjoying himself./Becoming a
Christian is a serious business,but to say we never enjoy ourselves,is wrong.
We do not loose the capacity to laugh and enjoy ourselves,the joy of the Lord is real,and we experience great happiness,even though we are not happy all day,after all the gospel is good news.
                                     A  prayer.
Dear God we thank and for the gospel ,that is good news,and when we
believe it,we are truly blessed,in Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

The God of Abraham. [ Genesis 22 v18]

If we look at things at face value,we could easy make a case of saying Muslims.Jews,and Christians worship the same God,in that we worship the God of Abraham.But if we consider the whole picture as is revealed in Gods word we see a different picture, Islam exalts   Ishmael above  Isaac which
is not what  the Bible teaches,because it would be through Isaac Gods redemptive purposes would be fulfilled.Likewise when it comes to the
Jews, they reject the promise Saviour,for Jesus is that promised seed though
whom all the earth would be blessed[Genesis 22v18].If we say that Muslin's,Jews and Christians worship the same God,saying that is not taking into consideration the full story,as revealed in scripture.Jesus is that promised Seed of Abraham,if Muslims, and Jews reject that seed,then the god they worship,is not the same as the God the Christians worship and the Jew have chosen another way, than that, which is revealed in Gods word.
 Islam ,Judaism  both have a limited an imperfect concept of Abraham,who rejoiced to see Christs day,and saw it and was glad[John 8 v56].As D.A.Carson writes,/Jesus identified the ultimate fulfilment of all Abraham's hopes and joys with His own person and work/.
                                            A  prayer.
Dear God we thank you for Jesus the promised seed of Abraham,through whom all the earth is blessed, He is the only one,who can forgave our sins,and make us true children of Abraham,and true Children of God.Amen.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Through faith alone. [ Exodus 20 v 1- 6 ]

The question I asked, was this, do we all worship the same God?and the answer is very simply,no, or does it matter as to who we worship?,yes it does.In Exodus 20v3,reads,/You shall have no other Gods before Me/,Israels great sin was, becoming involved in the worship of other gods.The result was God punished them for doing this,[Jeremiah 2 v17],we are told that God is a jealous God[Exodus 20v5],in other words he will not accept any other so called rivals.Well what about Jesus?or the Holy Spirit?,are they not Gods?,no they are not,as a Christian I only worship one God,not three gods.What I will say to you now,will not make sense,the Christian God is what we call a triune God,Hilary a theologian writes,/We are compelled by the error of heretics and blasphemers to do what is unlawful,to scale heights,to express things unutterable,to encroach on forbidden matters.And when we ought to fulfil the commandments through faith alone,adoring the Father,worshipping the Son together with him rejoicing in the Holy Spirit,we are forced to stretch the feeble capacity of our language to give expression to indescribable realities/I think the key thing in what he saying is, /through faith alone/.We cannot fully understand God,but we are called to accept God,the triune God by faith,as He is revealed in scripture.That means that all other so called gods must be rejected,and that they are no more than figments of peoples imagination.
                                           A  prayer.
Dear God we thank You for revealing yourself to us by your Holy Spirit,as is shown to us in your sacred word,in Jesus name Amen.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Do we all worship the same God ? [ Exodus 20 v 3]

I come from a divided land,Ulster,the division is political and religious,at this time things are more settled,the nationalist politicians have thankfully
chosen the ballot box,over the bullet.I was encouraged on my recent visit
as the degree of normality there was,no bombs,no road blocks.Now of  course there is still a lot of undercurrent,which we hope will lessen as time goes on.But what about the religious divide?,in politics  there has to be
a willingness to compromise, but what about the religious situation?, can their be compromise?.Why do we not just all worship as one?,are we not
going against what Jesus said ,that we should be one? [John 17v21]Are
we just being difficult,when we refuse to join with the Roman Catholic
church?.we could widen the question,do we not all worship the same God?
In the USA,a professor at Wheaton college has put on facebook that Christians, and Muslims worship the same God.Now these are the questions that many people are thinking about,and asking.Tomorrow I will seek to 
address these issue's,as to how we should look at them,from a biblical point of view.
                                              A  prayer.
 Dear God open the eyes of our understanding,help us to be open to what you have to say to us,in Jesus name Amen.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The most important prayer. [ Ephesians 2 v1-8]

Recently I paid a visit to my home town of Belfast,with two of my sons, before I went ,I asked, that the weather would be kind to us,and it was,,no rain,and the temperature was very reasonable.On our visit we called into a café to have something to eat,I spoke to the girl who was taking my order.I
mentioned that I was visiting,she mentioned how the weather  was nice,then
I said had prayed about it,and that God had answered prayer.Then I asked her did she believe God answered prayer?,she replied no,I ignored this,and said to her do you know the most important prayer one can pray?,God be merciful to me a sinner, and I left it at that.
                                        A prayer.
Dear God have mercy upon that young girl,help her to see that her greatest need ,is your mercy,through Jesus your Son Amen.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Im not going up on the roof. [Psalm 46]

There is a song with the words ,/when this old world is getting me down/,
and then it speaks of getting away from it all on the roof.What do you do when this old world is getting you down?,well I know I could not go on my
roof,I would fall of it,but there is a place I go to,not so much a place but a person,His name is Jesus.Elijah a prophet fled into the wilderness,David
fled into the land of the Philistines,who were the enemies of Israel.Naomi
and her family went into the land of Moab,because of a famine in there own country.Many in these days are fleeing from trouble, from war,oppression,
and poverty.It is a vivid reminder of the insecurity of life on planet earth,
75 percent of people who win the lottery end up bankrupt.Now I do not want to put fear into your hearts,but the reality is , that life is uncertain,we know not what a day may bring forth. So what is the answer to all this uncertain?,well consider the following words,  [Psalm46]
                           God is our refuge and strength
                            a very present help in trouble.
Where or what are you looking to,today,this man is saying that the person of God is his security.
                             Therefore will not we fear.
Be very clear about this,only faith in God, and his son Jesus,can bring us into a place of true security,only faith in a sovereign God,can bring peace,
and hope.
                                       A prayer.
Dear God and Father we draw near to you ,because you alone are,our security,which comes when we know Jesus as our Saviour, Amen.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Old age. [ Psalm 92 v 12-15]

Old age brings its problems, many my age  end up with prostate problems, diabetes,I just heard that a friend of mine had two hip replacement operations.Yes there are problems but that does not mean we are of no use,as long God grants us life,we can still serve Him,as He enables us.I may not be in employment but in the words of the little chorus ,there is a work for Jesus that I can still do .I can still pray,in a world were many are sadly  to busy to pray,I have time to pray. There are so many things to pray about.
,family,friends,neighbours ,missionaries,governments,and so many other things.As a Christian of many years I know how vital prayer is,our prayers can change situations,can change government's,can touch the ends of the earth.Let none of us doubt the importance of prayer,I can hear you say but what about the prayer that did not appear to be answered?.No one has all the answers  as to the whys of life,but in the end we leave it with God whose will is perfect. The work of prayer is like any other work,in spite of the difficulties we are called to be faithful,don't give up,press on,pray on,it is a most valuable service.A service that the world needs.your family needs,those you come in contact need,the need of the hour is prayer.
                                          A prayer.
Dear God as we grow old,let us not give in to despair,you still love us,help us ,and use us, in some way,help us to serve you in prayer,in Jesus name,

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Happiness. [ Psalm 32]

A popular entertainer,used to sing about happiness,the greatest gift that he possessed,what causes you to be happy?.What is the secret of happiness,
winning the lottery?,Helen Green a banker said,/You meet as many people
made unhappy by wealth as happy by it/.When I worked in the mental team,
I found a lot of unhappy people,one lady was always looking for something that would make her happy,a sort of do this,do that thing,she never appeared
very happy.Happiness is a feeling,and the fact is none of us are happy all the time.I think that to some extent we will all experience a degree of feeling happy.We all know about Snow White and the seven dwarfs,only one was called happy,there was one called grumpy,which one are we to today.Now as a Christian I have much to be thankful for ,the greatest gift I have is Christ who is my Saviour,and friend.To know Christ is to be blessed,even when one is sorrowful,even when trials come into ones life.As I face every day,my feelings may alter,because of whatever,but one thing will never alter,knowing Jesus, and the multitude of blessings,that brings into my life.
                              When peace like a river,attendeth my way,
                              when sorrows like sea billows roll;
                               whatever my lot You have taught me to say,
                               It is well,it is well with my soul.

                               Though Satan should buffet,if trials should come,
                               let this blessed assurance control,
                               that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
                               and has shed His own blood for my soul.

                               My sin-O the bliss of this glorious thought-
                               my sin-not in part-but the whole
                               is nail to His cross,and I bear it no more;
                                praise the Lord,praise the Lord,O my soul.

                                For me,be it Christ,be it Christ hence to live,
                                if Jordon above me shall roll.
                                No pang shall be mine,for in death as in life
                                You will whisper Your peace to my soul.
                                      [Words by Horatio G Spafford]
                    [I will return to my blog on Monday,every blessing]

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

A handful of weeds.. [Revelation 22 v12 ]

In Matthew  5  v12, our Saviour says to those who are suffering persecution
,/ for great is your reward in heaven/.CP also Luke 6 v35/,also 1 Corinthians 3v 11-15.Now let me make it clear that salvation cannot be earned,1 Corinthians 3 v15,makes that clear.rather it appears to be given for the service we have performed for our Saviour. My study Bible reads,/Good work will be rewarded,unfaithful work will be discounted/.The word of  God tells us that our works will be tested in the fire,the good will survive the fire,that which is not good will be burnt up.[1Corinthians 3 v13-15]. The other day I was working in our garden with my wife,she was digging up the
weeds which she handed to me ,which I disposed of.As she handed me those weeds I could not help but think of that day when I will stand before my Saviour,and all I give Him was  a handful of weeds,I would be absolutely ashamed.There is an old Gospel hymn which reads,/By and by when I look on His face I wish I had given Him more/.We who are debtors should at least seek to show our appreciation to our Saviour,for saving us .
                                          A  prayer.
Dear God we thank you for saving us,we owe you so very much,help us to show our appreciation,by lives that are fruitful in serving you,in Jesus name we ask this. Amen.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A sure and certain foundation.[ Acts 4 v 11-12 ]

In 1 Corinthian 3v11-15,we are told a number of truths,that faith is built on Christ,as the old hymn puts it,/On Christ the solid rock I stand,all other ground is sinking sand/.So the apostle declares,/For other foundation can no
man lay than that is laid,which is Jesus Christ/.If any building is going to stand it must have a foundation,without it will fall down,so we are reminded the importance of having Christ ,the life without Christ,will eventually manifest weaknesses,and those without that foundation,will one day,find
the house  that they have built collapsing.I was speaking to my sister recently,and I mentioned that I prayed for her to be saved.She  replied,to be saved,what did I mean?,yes what did I mean,I meant this if our lives are not
built upon Christ,then we will be lost.It is a sad thing to say,but a necessary thing to say,to warn her that there is a storm coming,the judgement of God.
I hear people speak a lot of nonsense as regards what happens when we die,that somehow we will pick up where we have left off.Not so ,we will no longer be husband and wife,parent and child,no, those earthly ties will have ceased.The most important thing about the after life is that we are in that vital relationship of knowing Christ as our own and personnel Saviour.
                                        A prayer.
Dear God in an uncertain world we that for Jesus on which we can build our lives on .Amen.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Showing our faith. [Luke 10 v29-37]

Dick Lucas has written the following,/Non -Christians will not take our beliefs seriously unless our behaviour matches them./Recently a colleague
and I have been witnessing to a non-Christian,my colleague has been shown kindness to him,the last time we met him we did not enter into any discussion ,but prayed that our actions may speak to him.Is it true that actions speak louder than words?yes there a time to speak,but there is a time be silent. The fact is ,we  need to be guided by the Holy Spirit,as to speak or not to speak.James stresses the importance of works,our Saviour said,/ Let your light so shine before men,that they may see your good works,and glorify your Father which is in heaven[ Matthew 5 v16],He also said,/ believe me for the very works sake.[John 14 v11]/.Again Dick Lucas again writes of the Christians life,is a shop window for the Gospel,especially those who are leaders within the Christian Church.So let us remember that being a Christian is more than going to meet with other Christians,more than reading ones Bible,more than even prayer,remember the story our Saviour told about the good Samaritan,and the words our Saviour said when he had finished telling that story,/ Go,and do thou likewise./
                                           A  prayer.
Dear God help us to be rich in doing good works, in our Saviours name we ask this Amen./

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Hope. [1 Corinthians 15 v19 ]

There is a lot of negativity in life ,there are people who are living in the most difficult situations.I have a photo of a slum area in Nairobi,in Kenya
it is awful,people there have so little, many are infected with, HIV/
AIDS, this includes children,the situation is dire.Yet in the midst of that
hopeless situation there are Christians working ,a centre has been set up ,called,Shelter of hope.They have children feeding programme,plus health care,education,emergency relief, plus many other things.I am interested and involved in a ministry called CAP,which reads,Christians against poverty,it seeks to help people who are trouble with debt, the message they bring to people is they can get out of debt,and many people are doing just that,it is a ministry of hope. Being a Christian brings with it the challenge of helping people,missions such as ,Stand by me,help thousand of dear children, there are many more I could mention,as Christians we are called to a life of doing good.[I would just mention that Christians are not saved by there good works,but by simple faith in Christ] Yet the challenge for all Christians is to bring hope to so many who have no hope,in ways I have mentioned.Plus the message of the gospel,this gospel is a wonderful message of hope,for it promises ,forgiveness,freedom,and a multitude of blessings.
                                             A  prayer.
Dear God bless those working among the needy,bringing hope,to the hopeless,in Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Perfect yet inperfect. [Matthew 5 v 48 ]

We often hear said,that no ones perfect,isn't that a fact,so what does it mean when we read in Psalm37 v37,/Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright;for the end of that man is peace.[AV]/Other translations put it a different way,the fact is only God is perfect,Spurgeon wrote about absolute
perfection,and comparative perfection.The comparative perfection is a limited perfection,a godly person should show a  degree of perfection . Now of course the Christian is accepted by God because of Jesus,we are perfectly accepted on the bases of an others perfection. Perfect in Christ but imperfect as to ourselves, that degree of perfectness, God will acknowledge,and even others will acknowledge it.Our Saviour said ,be perfect,as our Father in heaven is,[Matthew 5 v48],in this scripture our Saviour had been stressing how Gods goodness falls upon all people. So we are challenged  to be like our heavenly Father ,the challenge for us is ongoing,because of our tendency to be inconsistent,each new day brings with it, this challenge. Some of us succeed more than others,but never fully,
                                            A prayer.
Dear God thank you that we are perfect in Christ,and yet we acknowledge
that in ourselves we are imperfect,help us to face up daily to the challenge of being wholly perfect,in Jesus name Amen.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Not forgotten by God [Ecclesiates 11 v1-5]

In Ecclesiastes 11v1-5 ,my study Bible writes, /Solomon summarises ,that
life involves both risk and opportunity. Because life has no guarantees,yet we need a spirit of trust and adventure, facing life's risks and opportunities
with God-directed enthusiasm and faith/.When I was young man ,my wife and I felt called to serve the Lord,we went into Bible college,with no savings,and no guaranteed income.We could have given up,we could have
said it was to risky,after all we had three young children,but we made it through college.There was another young couple who because of no finance
did give is true there are no guarantees. I was talking to a fellow Christian recently,he has a grown up son,whom he and his wife ,brought up in the things of the Lord.But for many years he has went his own way,but just recently ,because he is experiencing mental difficulties,and now it seems,he is seeking the Lord.It has been a long time coming,Ecclesiastes 11v1 ,reads,/Cast thy bread upon the waters;for after many days you will find it again/.All our witnessing,giving,serving,are acts of faith,like seed sown,like bread cast upon the water,I will believe that which we sow is never lost or pointless,one sows there will be a reaping, and that applies
to those children we have sought to bring up in the ways of God.Those kind
deeds we have done,though long forgotten are not forgotten by God,we shall reap,because the word of God says that our work is never in vain in the Lord.[1 Corinthians 15 v58 ]
                                                   A prayer.
Dear God help us to be people of faith,to move out of out safety zone,and help us to be faithful in all we do,trusting you to bless, in Jesus name Amen.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Do not despai. [ Jude v24-25 ]

I attended a funeral recently of a dear Christian,she was loved greatly by many,the minister who took the funeral service,give a short account of her life.As I listened to what was being said about this dear sister,I must confess
I felt such a feeling of inadequacy as to my own life,I did feel a bit overwhelmed.I read something by Dick Lucus,/No Christian can ever claim to have arrived as a model believer,indeed one of the hallmarks of Christian maturity is a growing dissatisfaction with our level of godliness.That should
not produce despair but make us aim to possess a grater degree of godliness,
such  as,faith,knowledge[as regards Christ and what pleases Him],self control,perseverance,godliness,brotherly kindness,and love.[2 Peter 1 v6-7]/
Yes it is very obvious to me that I am not the man I should be,but by Gods
grace,I will attempt to pursue the goal,of being more Christ like.
                                           A  prayer.
                          More purity give me,more strength to overcome;
                          More freedom from earth-stains,more longings for home;
                          More fit for the kingdom,more used would I be;
                          More blessed and holy,more Saviour, like Thee.
                                  [Words by Philip Bliss ]

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Am I ,of no worth? [John 3 v16]

A very popular TV show is the ,Antiques Roadshow, it is very interesting,
many people bring their wares along .Often there is a interesting history
attached to the given object on display.But of course the one thing everyone
 is interested in ,what is the worth of the thing on display.Some objects are not worth very much,and there are object that are worth a lot.I read an article about a recent movie,of an astronaut who found himself ,trapped on a planet,on his own.I have not seen this movie so I do not know the full story,but someone calculated the financial cost of rescuing him,it would cost billions. Billions ,is one human being worth billions?,as I read history
of the wars that have taken place,it often appears  that life is worthless.What do think you are worth?,maybe you feel worthless, some people have had very bad childhoods ,abused,deserted,yes there are many reasons why we may feel worthless,but they are all lies,do not take on board the lie that you are worthless.Listen to these words,God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life[John 3 v16].
                                   A  Prayer.
Dear God help us to reject the lie,that we are of no worth,in Jesus name Amen.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Giving. [ Psalm 116 v12]

When I worked,we had drug rep's come in to inform us about some new drugs,but they would also provide us with a free lunch,plus free pens,and other goodies.The lunch and the goodies were the main attraction for many of us,let us face it we all like something for nothing.Yet we often wonder is there a catch,in the movies of the godfather,the godfather would do a favour
but it wasn't free,there would come a time when that favour would be called
in. Jesus said,give and it shall be given unto you [Luke 6 v 38],and there is nothing wrong with that ,continually in the word of God we are challenge to give, But unfortunately some preachers use this as an emotional blackmail. I believe God will honour our giving,but like our giving God, we should give freely to those in need,even if it is someone who dislikes you.[Luke 6 v34-36].The word of God reminds us that freely we have received,so freely we should give.[ Matthew 10 v8]An Bill Gather song comes to mind,which goes,/we can never out give the Lord/,so if we give, God will bless, and in a coming day we will have a reward. But let us be clear about this,our giving will never save us,for we are not redeemed with corruptible things,as silver and gold........But with the precious blood of Christ.[ 1 Peter 1 v18-19]
                                          A prayer.
Dear God for all you have given us we thank you,you are very, very kind,we acknowledge your goodness,especially that unspeakable gift of your dear son Jesus. Amen.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Who is this Jesus? [2 Pter 1 v1-3]

Who is this Jesus?,well let me briefly tell you who he is,in the book of 2 Peter 1 v2-3, we read,/  To those who through the righteousness of our God
and Saviour Jesus Christ,have received a faith as precious as ours.Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.First we note that Jesus is clearly taught as being God.this is what Peter is saying,in other words,as Dick Lucas comments,/Peter attributes deity to Jesus,/  yet he is not all there is to God,for in the biblical
view of God ,we have God the Father and God the Holy Spirit,yet they are one.Next Peter calls him,  Christ[ the anointed one] That means he was, and is ,that long awaited one ,who the many thought would rescue Israel,instead he came to rescue  all mankind.Thirdly he calls Him Saviour, as it was foretold,this meant He would save them from their sins.[Matthew 1 v21].
Fourthly he calls Him Lord,Lord one who rules,again it is Dick Lucas who points out that the word Lord  [kyrios] was the standard translation in the
Septuagent[the Greek version of the Old testament] for the Hebrew name
of God./Yet as Lord we are stressing the importance of obedience.
                                         A prayer.
Dear God help us to hold fast to the truths in your word ,concerning Jesus.
in His name we ask this. Amen.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

To God be the glory [ 1 Samuel 30 v 6ff ]

I cannot stress enough the importance of praying about everything, it is vital that we acknowledge God in all our ways[Proverbs 3 v6 ].The Israelites made a pact with the inhabitants of Gibeon,and never asked counsel of the Lord[Joshua 9 v 14] , that scripture is a reminder to us of the importance of praying before we make decisions,Now of course we are at times forgetful, God understands,he is not a tyrant,consider the words of Psalm 103v13-14,Like as a father pitieth his children,so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.Yes understands our weaknesses,as every parent ,but even more so.But because have to some degree the spirit of the prodigal in us,in that we desire our independence,if we run with that spirit,we like Israel of old will run into
trouble ,CP.Joshua 9 v14.What was their failure as why they never sought the Lord,was it because of their former victories,but their victories came through the Lord. As a person who has been following the Lord,for over 51 years,I realise more than ever,the importance of continually praying to God.
When we pray we are acknowledging our dependence upon God and Saviour Jesus Christ,to guide us,to protect us,to provide for us,to keep a keep a hold on us.We are acknowledging that it is not our resilience or toughness, that will bring us through.
                                          A  prayer.
Dear God and Father, forgive us our foolish attempts at being independent ,
from you,help us by your grace,to acknowledge you in all our ways,in Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

He cares.[ 1 Peter 5 v7 ]

It is not often we see people in high office crying,but it was refreshing to see President Obama shedding a tear.His concern is caused by the gun crime in his country,he desperately wants to bring greater control into a situation that is out of control, I hope and pray that he succeeds.The President appears to be man who cares,we need leaders who care, but the
important truth is, we all need to be caring people.One of the great truth about our Saviour is that He cares,when he walked on earth,he cared,in so
many ways. Of course His coming into the world ,was based on the fact that he cared,not just about people physical needs,or material needs,but their spiritual needs.To meet that need, it would take all the love he had,it would mean him dying on a cross,and on that cross,to suffer for our sins.He knew that if he did not suffer for our sins,then we would have to suffer. It is hard for us to take in the reality of sin and its eternal consequences,because we
lean upon our own understanding.The word of God clearly teaches that we sin ,and are capable of the committing awful things,that we are not only flawed,but fallen human beings.So Jesus came to rescue us, he is known as a man of sorrows,that sorrow was borne out of a heart that cared. He still cares,still seeks to save that which is lost.
                                       A  prayer.
Dear Lord Jesus we thank you that  cared so very much for us that  you died
for us on Calvary Amen.

Friday, 8 January 2016

He makes all the difference. [ 2 Corinthians 5 v17 ]

There used to be a TV program called ,/All our yesterdays/,it reminds me that many people love nostalgia related to the past.The Irish are full of it,one of my favourite  movies is the Quiet man,it is enjoyable,but in many ways false.The fact of the matter millions upon millions of Irish, north and south had to leave Ireland, because of the terrible poverty.So when I look back on my country history I do not look at it through rose tinted glasses.Of
course  ,I remember the terrible violence,which even now can erupt.But as I look on my life when I lived there,there is much I am grateful for,it is there I heard the gospel,from my childhood,and I am thankful that God in His sovereignty ,choose  the place of my birth.I am grateful that as child I
attended an evangelical church,where they had godly Sunday school teachers, and children's workers . Also as I grew up I heard many dear godly men preach Gods word,and God used their ministry to touch my heart.The past history of my country is far from perfect,likewise my own personal history,but God in His great mercy saved me,when Jesus became my Saviour,and its that reality that has made all the difference,in my life.
                              A  prayer.
Dear God thank you ,that when we come to know Jesus as our Saviour then in spite of our past,that makes all the difference,thank you ,in Jesus name Amen.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

You may be confused.[ Isaiah 55 v 8-9 ]

In this week ,a lady I know who was suffering from cancer ,has been told that the treatment has been successful,I will share the background to this at a later date. Another lady I know who had cancer ,has died,both these ladies knew the Lord,one was spared the other was not.Sometimes when things happen we struggle,to cope ,both these ladies were godly ladies,but one was spared the other taken.As I prayed about these things,I admitted to being confused,and the Lord said to me,you may be confused,life is full of so many confusing things.When we read Gods word we see people who experienced tragedy's as well as triumphs.People of God who suffered injustices,betrayal,consider Job,the awful loss's he experienced,and then being told by his friends that he was to blame,which of course he wasn't. I could go on giving examples,but let me return to what the Lord said to me,about being confused,because we have to appreciate that we are not God
we are very limited human beings,unlike us God is not confused,He knows what He is doing.I love a good mystery ,Agatha Christie is one my favourite authors,but that's fiction,entertainment,but real life mysteries,can throw me,
like the ones I have mentioned.It is then I have to remind myself of the wonderful Biblical truth,that God is sovereign,that means He is in control,
that He has a plan for all our lives,even though it may involve severe loss, a dark valley experience.
                                           A prayer.
Dear God help us by your grace to cope with loss,or whatever trials we have to face,replace confusion with trust,pain with healing,and hope where there is despair,in Jesus name Amen.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Peace be still. [ Mark 4 v35-41]

The disciples where in a storm,the boat was filled with water,our Saviour
was so tired,that inspite of the storm,He was asleep.But the disciples ,they were wide awake,scared out of there lives,and puzzeled as to why the Master slept,when they where in so much danger.So they went to Him,and woke Him up ,and said,Master carest thou not that we perish?. Jesus arose and spoke to the storm,He said,/Peace, be still/,and the wind ceased,and there was a great calm.
                              Be still my soul,the Lord is on thy side;
                              Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
                              Leave to thy God to order and provide;
                              In every change He faithful will remain.
                              Be still,my soul,thy best,thy heavenly,Friend.
                              Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

                              Be still,my soul , Thou God doth undertake
                              To guide the future as He has the past.
                              Thy hope,thy confidence let nothing shake;
                              All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
                              Be still, my soul, the waves and winds still know
                              His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

                             Be still, my soul, the hour is hastening on,
                             When we shall be for ever with the Lord,
                             When disappointment,grief and fear are gone,
                             Sorrow forgot,loves purest joys restored.
                              Be still,my soul,when change and tears are past,
                              All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
                          [Words by:   K.A.D. Von Schlegel./b.1697/
                                                J.L. Borthwick /1813-97]


Monday, 4 January 2016

It will be worth it. [ Matthew 25 v 34 ]

I wrote the following down recently,I do not remember who said it,,/I never said it would be easy,but I said it would be worth it/.Christ never pulled the wool over anybodies eyes,people who came to him stating that they wanted to follow him, where told ,that there was a cost. He himself in doing His Fathers will  paid a heavy price,after all just coming into this planet as a child meant, becoming poor,and it meant living always in the shadow of the cross.No it was not easy for him ,but he knew the importance of what he was doing,and he knew that it would be worth it[Hebrews 12v2]Every great sportsperson knows that there is a cost of involved in greatness,anyone who wants to accomplish whatever in life knows that there is a cost.Any successful marriage is accomplish at a cost,bringing up a child involves a
cost.Life by its very nature can be  difficult,so why should we think that being a follower of Christ will be any different.I continually read of dear Christians who are in prison,who have had their loved ones murdered,who have lost all earthly possessions.What does 2016 hold for us,who profess to
be followers of that man of Calvary,there are no guarantees,that it will be easy,but let me say this from the bottom of my heart,it will be worth it.
                        He who would valiant be,gainst all disaster,
                        Let him in constancy,follow the master.
                       There's no discouragement, shall make him once relent,
                       His first avowed intent ,to be a Pilgrim.
                        Who so beset him round,with dismal stories,
                        Do but themselves confound,his strength the more is.
                        No foes shall stay his might,though he with giants fight.
                        He will make good his right,to be a pilgrim.

                        Since Lord,thou dost defend us with thy Spirit.
                        We know we at the end shall life inherit.
                        Let fancies flee away,I'll fear not what men say.
                       I'll labour night and day,to be a pilgrim.
                [Written by John Bunyan,who suffered imprisonment for
                  preaching the gospel]


Sunday, 3 January 2016

The will of God [Romans 12 v1 -2 ]

As we go forward the challenge is the same for us as it was for our Saviour
to do the will of God.[ John 5v30].How do we see the will of God?,it involves what we do know ,it is not a mystery ,we are to be holy.In 1 Peter
1 v16,we read,/But just as he who called you is holy,so be holy in all that
you do,for it is written:Be holy, because I am holy/.Yes in all we do,in all we think,there are to be no dark corners in our lives,our actions,our words and out thoughts.This is our continual aim,for it is the will of God,for every believer,we need not scratch our heads as regards what is the will of God,it
is to be holy. Yet it also involved for our Saviour something He had do, leaving heaven,to die on a cross,in order that we may be saved.He let nothing stand in His way,nor must we,the immensity of what He was called to do was beyond anything we can imagine,but in words by John Stott,He
accepted it,not in feeble resignation,but with a glorious positive prayer.
when He prayed to His Father,/Your will be done/.[ Matthew 26 v42]On an individual level the will of God, can involve suffering,unexpected things, God given tasks that are difficult,being sacrificial,and so on.What is the will
of God, for you and me ,today?,are we going to reject it?,or are we going to embrace it,with a glorious positive prayer ?.
                                           A  prayer.
Dear God and Father help to walk in your will today,help us to embrace
your will,no matter what suit of clothes it comes in,in Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Take my hand, [ John 10 v28-29 ]

A little boy was with his father walking home,it was getting dark,and he was feeling a bit anxious.His father could sense how he was feeling,so he said, take my hand,and the moment he did that, he felt calm,and secure.There is an old song which goes,/Take my hand precious Lord lead on ,let me stand,I am tired ,I am weak,I am worn.Through the night ,through the day,lead me on, this I pray,precious Lord, take my hand lead me on./ So often we are like that little boy,anxious ,insecure,like the words of that song
we feel tired,weak and worn. Like that father ,but even more so, our loving heavenly Father knows fully how we feel,and so he speaks to us words of comfort,and says to us,as it where, take my hand,remember the words I spoke of old,that no one can pluck you,my dear child, out of my  hand[John
10 v28-29 ].Your hand is in mine,but it is my hand that is strong,it is my hand that protects,it is my hand that provides.My hand will never let you go,
though all the forces of hell come against you,they will not prevail.I know
how you feel ,your fears,your weakness's,your limitations ,none of these things are hidden from me,they are hidden from others,but not from me,I
see and know all things,none of these things,will cause me to love you less.
                                         A  prayer.
Dear loving heavenly Father,take my hand lead on,let me stand,in Jesus name I ask this Amen.

Friday, 1 January 2016

No time machine [ Matthew 6 v34 / Philippians 3 v13 ]

I have a friend who suffers from Parkinson disease,I usually call and take him out once a week.Coming out oh his home there are four steps,so I have to remind him to take one step at a time,he still tries to walk as he did ,
before he had Parkinson,and so he could easily fall.Well here we all are at the beginning of a new year,the days stretch out before us.and I believe we can be so easily discouraged.We may ask how are we going to make it through, this incoming year, and the answer is very simply,one day at a time or one step at a time.How much pain we cause ourselves by the possible  dire difficulties of tomorrow.None of us are time travellers, we cannot go back to yesterday,or go forward to tomorrow,there is no time machine,we will always be stuck in the present.As the gospel sung puts it,yesterdays gone and tomorrow may never be mine,so for my sake,help me to take, one day at a time.That means we should not live in the past,or in our
imagination live in the future.Let the failures, hurts,and wrongs,of the past be put in their proper place,which is not in the present.this also applies to
the future.Jim Reeves sings a song ,asking the question,/Where do I go from here?,it ends with the following,give me strength that I may find abiding faith and peace of mind,and I wont ask where do I go from here./
                                              A prayer.
Dear God and Father ,grant us by your grace,faith and peace of mind,that will enable us all to live one day at time,and to take one step at a time.We ask this in the name of Jesus Amen.