verse of the day

Thursday, 31 March 2016

A shelter in the time of Storm . [Psalm 61 ]

In Psalm 61v 1-2, we read,/Hear my prayer,O God,attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee,when my heart is overwhelmed;lead me to the rock that is higher than I./As I write these words, a severe storm is raging,garden furniture has been blown over.It reminds me of many of Gods children who are facing severe storms,in so many countries, storms of persecution.There are all sorts of storms,I was asked to pray recently for a couple ,the husband is at the early stages of dementia. Are you in a storm?well what can you do?, you can pray that prayer,  David prayed. It commences,/Hear my cry,O God,listen to my prayer/,we are assured in Gods word that God listens to his childrens prayer,not only listens ,but answers,[Psalm 107]Next we  read,/From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed ,/When I'm far from anywhere,down to my last gasp [T M]/, in other words no matter where you are,and no matter how you feel,God will hear,he is no local diety,He the God of all the earth,and He is your God.Lastly he asks to be lead to the rock that was higher than I,/God is seen as a rock[Psalm 62v2].David was praying to God to keep him safe, and secure from the storm he was in.
                                           A  prayer.
                         O Rock Divine,O Refuge dear:
                         A shelter in the time of storm,
                         Be Thou our helper ever near,
                         A shelter in the time of storm.
                               [Words by F.R.Havergal]

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Regrets. [ Romans 5 v 6-10 ]

 I attended a course in preparation for me eventually being part of the
chaplaincy team at a local hospice.I found it very helpful,for it dealt with such things,as death and dying,loss,grief bereavement care,dignity and respect,listening,responding and communication skills.They were all extremely helpful,I am sure many people would benefit from such a course.
Though I found some of it difficult emotionally to deal with,as it made me focus on the death of my first wife,and how I handled it,the regrets I have in relation to how I handled my boys.I wish I could say that I have no regrets
but the fact is I have many,I cannot join in the song,sung by the little sparrow,no regrets.I am a flawed human being,but this I know that  I am loved by my loving heavenly Father.He knows the best about me and the worst,and yet His love remains constant,there is nothing hidden from Him,
but everyday as I pray and thank Him for Jesus,He whispers, Billy that's how much I love you,and that will never change.
                               How deep the Father's love for us,
                               How vast beyond all measure,
                               That He should give His only Son
                               To make a wretch His treasure.
                                How great the pain of  searing loss-
                               The Father turns His face away,
                               As wounds which mar the Chosen One,
                               Bring many sons to glory.
                                     [Words by Stuart Townend]

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Attending church. [ Psalm 122v 1]

Peter Adams write of Jeremiah Burroughs one of the great preachers of the
seventeenth century.He wrote a book called Gospel Worship,a series of sermons on how to relate to God.He thought the most important thing we do each week is to go to church,to listen to the reading,and preaching of the
Bible.As you sit still to listen,he come to tender your homage to God, to sit at Gods feet and there to profess your submission to Him''. The fact is we need to meet with Gods people,to hear the ministry of Gods word,by the minister.As a minister I am continually studying Gods word,I pray for guidance,and Gods help,that the hungry sheep may be fed.That is my calling,I do it not for money,glory,but because I have been called by God to do it.When I go to preach I am not going to a debating
society,I am going to preach the word God has given me.Recently when I had finished preaching,a brother stood up,this brother is a difficult chap,he
wanted to say something,I asked him to sit down,he became angry and stomped out of the building.The point is ,it would have been better for him,and for those gathered, to just to take in the message that had been preached,in a submissive manner,as Jeremiah wrote.And for our own spiritual well being we really need to take seriously,the importance of attending church.
                                            A  prayer.
Dear God we thank you for being able to attend a church,where Gods word is preached,help us to not neglect this,help us to see its importance to our spiritual well being,in Jesus name Amen.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Are you afraid? [Isaiah 41 v10]

One of the characters in the peanut cartoon always carried a security blanket
,children often need reassurance,.I remember when I was very little,feeling scared ,so I ran to were my mother was. To some extent things don't change,even though we are now adults,there are still so many things can cause us to fear.I am sure every time I preach there will be someone who is feeling fear,I am certain that there is someone who is reading this ,is experiencing fear. If you are not experiencing fear ,because everything in the garden is rosy,I can assure you that life being what it is,you will in time come into something that will cause you to feel afraid. That is why continually God  seeks to reassure his children,to not be afraid.Here the word of Lord ,a word for us all,God  says to us all,/Fear not/,hear these words,/Fear not/,because he says,I am with you,whatever you may be facing you are not facing it alone,so be not dismayed.Next we are told ,I am your God,and I will strengthen you,we all need His strength,our strength will fail but his will not.Next He says, I will help you,though all human resources fail,though all human help fail us ,He will not fail us,he will help us.Next He says I will uphold you,you will not go under,the pressure, he will uphold you Isaiah41v10].This is the word of the Lord for you ,claim it ,believe it,and rest in it .
                                              A  prayer.
Dear God you know how prone we are to fear,you know,and so today,helps
by faith to trust your word, for us today ,in Jesus name Amen.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

A sure and certain way. [John 14 v 6 ]

Philip Yancey wrote the following,/Towards the end of his life the artist,Paul Gauguin,painted a huge panelled triptych[a picture on three panels]he scrawled these words in French across a corner of the painting;
'Who are we?Why are we here?Where are we going.-questions he had learned in a Catholic catechism class for which he had still no answers./
When I was young I like many asked myself similar questions,that is ,until I came back to Christ,then things became clear.The question who we are is
absurdly answered by science we are ,just another animal,The Bible tells
us God made us,in His image,that is who we are.Why are we here?God put us here,but because of sin,we have lost sight of God ,and only until we trust Jesus,we will continue to wander lonely as cloud.Where are we going?,with Christ as my Saviour,I do know with absolutely certainty where I am going,heaven here I come.
                                             A  prayer.
Dear God we thank you that in Christ there is a way forward,out of the darkness and into the light,a sure and certain way. Amen.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

An earthquake day[ Luke 24 v 13-

Yesterday was good Friday,tomorrow will be Easter Sunday,but what about today?,it has no special name that I know off. In the tale of two cities,we have these words,/ It was the best of times,it was the worst of times,it was the age of seismology,a study of earthquakes.Those followers  of Jesus had experienced,an earthquake,I have never been in an earthquake but I have witnessed them on the TV,and the utter devastation they bring.People who have lived through such events never forget such an experience,they stand among the rubble.That how the those followers of Jesus,they thought this
man was going to fix everything,after all they had witnessed His power.He actually stilled a storm ,which left them spellbound and asking,/What manner of man is this,that even the wind and the sea obey Him[Mark 4 v41]
With Jesus all things would be possible,the overthrow of their enemies,that long awaited day of the Lord had come,no one would be able to stop them,no one,He would rule,and they would rule with him,even arguing among themselves who would be greatest in His kingdom[Luke 22 v24.]Then on that faithful night they had watch Him being arrested,and meekly being led away,no demonstrations of power . Surely they must have thought,when is He going set things right,but no,the unthinkable happened ,they put Him to death,and even that most horrible of deaths,a Crucifixion,and that was that.One can only imagine what thoughts where going through their heads,and it seemed there was no answers,it truly was the worst of days.They had followed a failure,now they where paying the price ,on this earthquake day.But this, in between day as they will see, would soon pass,and very shortly all would be changed,and they would be changed.the world would be changed forever,and if you hold on,maybe tomorrow you may be changed.
                                             A  prayer
Dear God,when devastation comes into our lives,help us not to give up,
help us to wait,knowing that joy will come in the morning,in Jesus name Amen.  [

Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday.[ Isaiah 53 ]

Today is good Friday,I wonder how many think about this,how can we celebrate and call a day in which our Saviour was crucified?.As one reads the account of His arrest,His mock trial,for those at that time it was unbelievable,it was so unfair.A man hanging on a cross is not good,it is awful,it is cruel in the extreme,after all ,here is a man who did so much good,a wonderful teacher,yet there He was crucified,like a common criminal.It is D.A.Carson who wrote a book called scandalous,and I suppose
it was Scandalous,but is that all there is to it?.No of course not,it is only
understanding the reason as to why it happened,yes it was scandalous,it was awful,but it was necessary,it was Gods only answer,to great delema,caused by sin,when sin entered the world,everything in the natural universe was effected. From being innocent ,mankind became filled with a fallen nature
with the capacity to commit awful things,things so evil,unbelieveable evil,make no mistake there is a beast within all of us.The awful consequences of our sin is separation from a Holy God,and judgement,let
me be very clear Hell is not something ,anyone has made up,no more than
heaven is made up.We can refuse to accept,the Bibles teaching,on sin,and Hell,that is up to us,but if it is true,what then?. What makes good Friday
good,is the reason, which is summed up in the words of a hymn.
                             He died that we might be forgiven,
                             He died to make us good .
                             That we might go at last to heaven,
                             Saved by His precious blood.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Open the eyes of our understanding. [ John 9 v25]

Iris Murdoch once commented;'We live a fantasy world, a world of illusion.
The great task in life is to find reality.'With so many people watching TV,or working on their computers,one has to ask why?.When I was young I loved to escape reality by going to the cinema,I remember as a child thinking how wonderful it would be to actually live in the cinema.And so it has come to pass as now I have a cinema in my home,in the presence of a large TV. But
now I do not live in a way to escape reality,I know that, is not the answer,
The apostle Paul wrote,that when he was a child,he spoke,and thought,and
reasoned as a child. But when he grew up,he put away childish things.[1 Corinthians 13 v11]My growing up came when I met the Saviour, I had to face the reality of sin,and the reality of what that meant.Real life involves
real problems,that we do well to face up to,and the greatest reality we all have to face is death. Philip Yancey wrote,'Our ancestors feared God;we
moderns fear death.'Do you ? well when I trusted Jesus,I could look at death differently,with Him in my life,I can say,' Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.[Psalm 23 v4 ]
                                           A  prayer.
Dear God open the eyes of our understanding,that we may see what is real and what is unreal,open the eyes of our understanding that we see our need of Christ,who can help us to face lifes realities,in His name we ask this Amen.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Age is no excuse. [ Galations 5 v 16- 25]

Peter Adam, writing about Thomas Brooks says,/ He was a generous preacher , because his nickname  was 'Babbling Brooks',He said.''Two things are very rare; to see a young man humble and watchful;and the other
is,to see an old man contented and cheerful''./ Humility,consider He who made all things,who sustains all things,humbled himself,he became obedient unto death,even the death of the cross[Philippians 2 v8].Watchful
I suppose the young are impetuous,not cautious,or careful,they rush in were angels fear to tread. Brooks points that the old are rarely contented, or cheerful,why is that?,is that  me, is that you?.Lacking humility,being prone to act without thinking,not contented,and not cheerful.Let consider
Christ, his humility,we are told ,that what he experienced was ,a incredibly
humbling process,we all want to rise higher,he did the opposite.Jesus never acted in an impetuous way,he walked in step with God His Fathers will.Jesus had little of this worlds goods,in fact he had nowhere to lay His head,yet he must have been the most contented person who ever lived.Was Jesus a cheerful person?,we know that he was a man of sorrows,what do you think?.The thought came to me,surley he would have manifested,love,
joy,and peace.
                                        A prayer.
Dear Saviour ,help us to reflect all that you are in our lives,and let us not make age an excuse for those failings in our lives, Amen.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sow a thought. [ 1 Corinthians 6 v 9-11 ]

Peter Adams ,wrote the following,/ Sin binds,because every time we sin we weaken our power to resist sinning,and take the first steps in forming the habit of repeating that sin. As has often been said,'Sow a thought ,and you reap an act. Sow an act,and you reap a habit.Sow a habit,and you reap a
character,and reap a destiny./Think of Judas one of the 12 apostles who
betrayed his Lord,he did it for money,this was not a one of act,the fact of the matter was, he was a thief,his thieving starting with a thought,he acted on that thought,got away with it,then did it again and again,he had formed a habit,these acts formed his character,and alas ,for him his awful destiny/.
Jesus said that he was destined to be lost[John 17 v12],and it started with a thought,a wrong thought,so many are in slavery ,because they ran with their
wrong thoughts,and they acted on their thoughts,very soon they had formed
a destructive habit, that formed their character,and alas like Judas an awful destiny.
                                            A  prayer.
Dear Saviour ,we ask that you would deliver us from all evil,from acting on our evil thoughts,deliver us from sinful habits,set us free from all that blinds us and binds us Amen

Monday, 21 March 2016

No Pharisee. [Isaiah 6 v 5]

As a minister of the word of God,I am called upon to be faithful,to preach the whole council of God.This may appear obvious,but for many they fall short of this,because they struggle with doctrines like sin, and Hell.It appears to some if you do,you are judging and condemning people,after all they say Jesus did not come to condemn the world. They say that many evangelicals are like the Pharisees,I hope not,but maybe some are.An old Puritan preacher ,said he was a dying man preaching to dying men.In one sense we are all the same,and yet we are not,the Christian has experienced
the saving grace of God.Most us our familiar with John Newtons hymn, Amazing grace,the opening verse has the words ,that saved a wretch like me.In other words John Newton,was no self righteous Pharisee,judging others,the apostle Paul called himself the chief of sinners [1Timothy 1 v15]
When I preach about sin  ,I am but speaking the truth,because I know
my own heart and history,and I know the consequences,of sin,the door of
heaven will remain shut,and the doors  of Hell open,if our sins are not forgiven.The purpose of Christs coming was to save people from their sin
[Matthew 1 v21/ John 1 v29],we cannot water this down,nor to neglect
to preach,in love,as a dying man,to dying men.
                                    A Prayer.
Dear God help all of us to tell people about sin and its consequences,and most of all the  remedy,Jesus who died for sinners,Amen.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

The bad news,the good news.[Revelation 2-3]

I remember a Pastor in a south American country,speaking of many, so called evangelical Christian leaders,who milked their congregations,for money.He said he was asked was he a Pastor,and he denied it,because he did not want to be associated with,those so called Christian leaders.My favourite author was brought up in a racist church,I could mention many
other serious shortcoming.In the end the Lord knows, who are His,and who are not,yet all these things are a hindrance to many coming to the Lord,after
all who wants to be associated with such people.I have to confess that often we have not always reflected that Christ likeness that we should.But let us get some balance into this,I know many fine Christians,a couple in the church I attend ,fostered many children,and ended up adopting a brood of them,she had children of her own.I know of many fine people working
among the poor,needy people of this world.After over fifty years following the Lord Jesus, I have met many truly nice kind Christians.As I read the Bible I have confidence that Christ will deal with the shortcomings of  His
church.Read the letters to the seven churches in Asia,in the book of Revelation,and we see that our Lord misses nothing,He sees all ,knows all,and will act accordingly.
                                             A prayer.
Dear Lord Jesus,we bring your people to you,ourselves included,and ask that you would send a revival,also help us all,not to be part of the problem,Amen

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The dark side. [ Matthew 13 v24-30]

In the book of  Ecclesiastes 3v 1-8 we are reminded that there is a time for so many things, in v 7,we read of a time to be silent,and a time to speak.We
live in changing times, people are not familiar as former generations with church,with terms like sin.The old ways of evangelism appear to be outdated, and ineffective,I raise these things,because many leaders in churches,and even Christian writers,are trying to understand how best to
communicate the Christian message.They emphasise what was the failures
of certain churches they attended,and point to those who are anti everything,
they stress the hypocrisy,of certain Christians.We could go on,and of course sadly to say,much of its true,it always has been true,to some extent.All of us  who are Christians,need to reflect on Christ, who continually challenged the hypocrisy,of his day.Many of the early NT churches were far from perfect,and had to be put right,church history is not  history of perfect Christians.To some extent nothing has changed,within the NT church as in the OT church,were leaders who failed,idolitry,sexual immorality,were common.So what is my conclusion?,well, I will write on this tomorrow.
                                                  A  prayer.
Dear God forgave your people ,send a revival,and purify your Church,for
Jesus your Sons sake Amen.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Secret sins. [ Psalm 139]

There is and old gospel song,with the following words in it,'Forgave the secret sins I do not see,'.Yes often we are blind to those things in our lives,
which unbeknown to us,can be called secret sins.Our Saviour revealed many things that people did not see,He touched on peoples wrong attitude even in their prayer life ,and their giving[Matthew 6  v 1-7]. Their wrong
attitude to money [Matthew 6 v19-21],even to forgiveness[ Matthew 18v21-22].He showed Peter the pride that lurked in his boastful words,that though all men would be offended because of Him,he would not,but he was[Matthew 26 v 31-34].Those who condemned and judged others were shown,that they also stood condemned by their own conscience[John 8v9].
The fact is we are so often blind to so many things in our lives,that can be
classed as sinful,we hold racial attitudes,vengeful thoughts, need I go on,
The words of Jeremiah 17 v9,are so meaningful,/The human heart is the most deceitful of all things ,and desperately wicked.Who really knows how bad he is?/.The answer, we don't,but the Lord does,/I the Lord,search all hearts,and examine secret motives,[17v10].
                                        A prayer.
Search me, O God,and know my heart,test me,and know my anxious thoughts.Point out anything in me that offends you,and lead me along the path of everlasting Jesus name we ask this Amen.
                           [ Words from Psalm 139 v23-24 ]

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The Lords calf.[ Malachi 1 v 6-9]

I am studying the book of Malachi,it is a sad book,the restored people of
Israel,who had returned from Babylon,were treating God with disrespect.
One of they ways they were doing this was to offer animals that were crippled,and diseased,this was contrary to Gods law.It reminds me of a story
I read many years ago,it was about a farmer who told his wife that their best cow,had given birth to twin calves,one red,and the other white.The farmer said to his wife I feel I should dedicate one of these calves to the Lord.When they are grown up ,we will sell them,we will keep money from one of them for ourselves,and the money from the other we will give to the
Lords work.Which one are we going to dedicate to the Lord,the farmer
relied he had not decided yet.A few months later,he came in looking sad,
and told his wife,the white calf had died,the Lords calf had died,his wife
said but we never  decided which one was the Lords calf,I had always decided the white one was the Lords calf.Dr M.L.Jones comments on this
it is always the Lords calf that dies.
                                              A  prayer.
Dear God help us to honour you in our giving,and not to give you second best,in Jesus name Amen.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Hold fast to this truth. [ Psalm 103 v19 ]

We must not yield or tire in our belief in Gods sovereignty,I know I mention this a lot,I make no apologies for this,because I personally need
to hold unto this truth.It is so easy to loose sight of this vital truth,and in so doing we loose out.Even as I write this I have offered up a prayer,for a war torn country,because we read in Gods word ,that He makes wars to cease unto the ends of the earth [Psalm 46 v9].It is not that we should do nothing, no  we are called upon to do is pray,we pray things happen,when we don't pray things don't happen.The doctrine of the sovereignty of God ,brings with it a responsibility ,for us to act in accordance with Gods will, and means  we act by  faith,many years ago ,when my then wife and I were living by faith in relation to God meeting our needs.There was no food in the house,and no money,my wife went out,taking her shopping bag with her,and as she leaving our home a friend drew up in his car,with a gift.Just a word of caution,none of us are called to act irresponsible,some times we are called to stand still and see the salvation of God,other times we are called to go forward.
                                      A  prayer.
Dear God we thank you that you rule over all the affairs of life,help us to
walk by faith,and to trust in your power,and providence,in Jesus name Amen.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

My sins our ?. [ Romans 8 v31- 39]

Recently I was attending home group meeting,and the person had list of a famous children's publications,called ,'Mr Men',there is quite a lot of them.
We were asked to choose what Mr Man were we,and I choose Mr. Forgetful
,I do have my moments when I do not remember certain things.Recently I saw a person I had worked with for many years,I just could not remember her name, I felt a bit annoyed with myself,but I am nearly 72,so I suppose it comes with the territory,after she left I did remember.Remembering It is important,it is a wonderful gift,I  wonder how does our brains remember smells,or even taste,we are truly  wonderfully made.Even though I am getting on I still can remember a lot of things,but I wish I could forget
somethings ,that I did when I was younger,the Bible calls them ,the sins of our youth[Psalm 25 v7],what about the sins I do not remember?. On Judgement day what is going to happen?and the answer is nothing,am I sure of that,that does not sound fair,surely God is going to judge me,for my sins?,I may have forgotten ,but surely He has not.This answer is,I will not be judged,because,they have all been forgiven me,the moment I trusted Jesus as my Saviour,God forgive every sin,that I ever committed,or will commit.Does this sound to good to be true,yes it may seem that way,but in actual fact it is true.As far as the east is from the west ,so far has God removed my transgression from me,[Psalm 103 v12],because the blood of
of Jesus, Gods Son, cleanses from all sin[1 John 1 v7]

                            Gone, gone,gone,gone,
                            yes my sins are gone.
                             Now my soul is free,
                             and in my heart a song.
                             Buried in the deepest sea,
                             yes that's good enough for me,
                             I shall live eternally,praise God,
                             my sins are gone.

Monday, 14 March 2016

If I ruled the world [Matthew 28 v18 ]

A number of years ago,there was a popular song ,called,'If I ruled the world,'I wonder if we did rule the world,how good of a job would we make of it?.I can only say ,I am glad I do not have the task of ruling the world,I found it hard enough  being in charge of five sons,who are now grown up. I often thing about,those who rule,be it a Prime Minister,or a President,and say to myself,who would want such a task,all that responsibility.No wonder it goes to their head,I would not swap places with them,for all the tea in China. Today pray for those in authority,that God would guide them,even though they do not know God,pray also that they will come to know God,and Christ as their Saviour.When we pray, we are going to a higher power,to the one who has all power in Heaven and earth, even Jesus.Others may not recognise this,but as Christians we do,our prayers,to Him ,can touch those in authority.He can cause wars to cease,resolve the humanly impossible problems,be it in a school,local and national government,so pray.He can remove those in power,and replace them,with better rulers,he can overthrow the vast amount of injustice,we know of,He can deal with the corruption,be it in banking,or wherever,and He can prevent laws being passed,and change  unjust laws.
                                          A  prayer.
Dear God and Saviour we thank you ,that you  are over all things,even though at times we do not understand why this, and why that.We ask in your mercy,you will cause wars to cease,bring an end to wicked and corrupt
rule,may your Kingdom come,we ask this in your name Lord Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Risk takers.[ Acts [Acts 20 v 22- 27]

I feel it is hard to grasp the impact that Jesus had ,for so often He broke convention,when a leper  came and knelt before Him ,and said ,'Lord if you
are willing,you can heal me and make me clean[Matthew 8v2-4 ]Jesus
reached out and touched him,I am willing,be healed.It is my study Bible who points out,/Leprosy,like AIDS,was a terrifying disease,and even though
there are cures for leprosy now,it is still looked on as a terrifying disease.It was like being told you had AIDS, or cancer ,it was nearly like a death
sentence.It meant separation from your family and friends,and with limited contact socially.Yet Jesus touched him,that would have been seen as the height of folly,and not many people would want to shake hands with you,if you did it. So what do we learn from this account?,well we at times have to
follow in the footsteps of our Saviour.sinners need to be saved,we must not let anyone put up barriers .There will always be a risk in reaching other with the gospel,yes even here,in the UK ,and the so called Christian countries.
Let us remember it will always be worth it,people have risked all to achieve
riches ,such as gold,we are seeking a more valuable prize, the souls of men and woman,who are lost,and are going to a lost eternity.
                                         A prayer.
Dear God grant us the grace, to be a risk taker,as our Saviour was, Amen

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Listen. [ Psalm 95 v8]

I read the following recently,/ It is easier to speak to God,than it is to listen to God/.I think on the whole that is true,although some people find it hard to
pray,but it is true that we may find it hard to listen to God, yet for all of us
it is of vital importance to listen to God.When Stephen preached to the
Sanhedrin, in Acts 7,there came a point when they covered their ears,they
didn't want to hear,what God was saying,through His servant Stephen.In the
book of Revelation,in chapters 2-3, we read the following,/He who has an ear,let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches/.Why was it necessary
for this to be said?,because the Lord was challenging, practises,attitudes,that were wrong.Why do you think the prophets were persecuted, and slain by those who professed to be the people of God.Jeremiah was warned by God,that his fellow Israelites would fight against him?.Ezekiel was told that
the people he was being sent to[Israel],were rebellious,obstinate, stubborn,
and so we could go.People often say what about those who have never heard the gospel,I think the difficulty is not that they have never heard,but
they are not listening.The challenge for all of us is to listen,to Gods voice, listen to his promises,to His words of challenge,to his rebukes ,to listen.
                                  A  prayer.
Dear God help us listen to your voice today,in Jesus name Amen.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Circumstances. [ 2 Kings 6 v 12- 17]

In a recent devotional I read the following,/This time look at your circumstances with the eyes of faith/[Anne Cates] This time which implies that the last we did not,look at our circumstances with the eye of faith. In
failing to do this we are no better than the unbelievers,who speak of bad luck,good luck.Consider if you are a Christian,that God your loving Heavenly Father is watching over you His child.nothing happens to His children that is outside his control.We can only appreciate this by faith,not
by our own understanding,our own understanding can so often be flawed,
and is only partial.Saul, Israels first king fell into the trap,of leaning on his own understanding by offering a sacrifice,which was against Gods word.[Deuteronomy12 v5-14]. Saul was under pressure,so he took matters into his own hands,later on, he again acted contrary to Gods word again  [1 Samuel 15],both times he violated Gods commands. He failed to trust and obey.Whatever pressure we be may be under,whatever our circumstances are,the way forward is always by faith.We do not ignore our circumstances
,they are what they are,in God providence,and that same providence,can change everything for good in a moment.
                               A  prayer.
Dear God help us by your grace to look at our circumstances by faith,
in Jesus name Amen.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Come down [Matthew 27v 39-44]

There was Christ hanging on the cross,nailed to that cross,his back in shreds
a crown of thorns on his head,not a pretty sight.It was not meant to be ,it was to say to the population if you break the law this is were you will end up. It was for criminals,and for those who would be involved in insurrection,Christ was guilty of none of these crimes,the governor had said so ,he tried to reason with his accusers,asking them ,why should he be crucified,he had done no evil[Matthew 27 v23].Nothing was going to change their minds,Absolutely nothing,as far as they were concerned this nobody,should die.The Governor knew why they wanted him dead,they were envious of him[Mark15v11],his popularity ,his power,his ministry,all were to bitter a pill for them to take.So the longer he lived ,the  more they hated him,and hate when it fills the heart can lead to murder.So there he was hanging on that cross of shame an innoncent victim,and they mocked him,there was no pity in their hearts for him,none.As they passed by they cried out,'He saved others;himself he cannot save. If he is the king of Israel,let him now come down from the cross,and we will believe him.[Matthew 27 42].But as General Booth once said,'It is precisely because He would not come down that we believe in Him'.
                                 There is a green hill far away,
                                 without a city wall,
                                 where the dear Lord was crucified,
                                 who died to save us all.

                                  He died that we might be forgiven,
                                  He died to make us good,
                                  that we might go at last to heaven,
                                  saved by His precious blood.
                                        [Words by Cecil Frances Alexander]


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

In understanding be men.[ Acts 8 v 30]

A lady from Japan said to a group of Christians,that the word we use for sinner,is the word they use for crime,so when we refer to people in Japan as
sinners,we are calling them criminals.I am sure there must be some other word that could be used to mean what the Bible calls sinners,I do not know.
Yet this highlights the importance of speaking Biblical truths in language that people can understand.Also here is a challenge as regards the Bible,and its this,to begin to understand the Bible,ourselves. It is very important to read the Bible daily ,to make as it as it were,our daily bread,and to try to
memorise it.Now it is important,but it should not stop there,we personally
need to understand the word of God. You may reply in different ways to what I am saying,you have not time,you are not one who likes studying,
or whatever,but it would be such a rewarding thing to do.You do not need to
overwhelmed by the thought,seek to get an overview,look at the background
of the books,historically,the reasons why the books were written.Make notes,buy good sound books,I am using a series of books called ,'The Bible speaks today/,I am finding them helpful,,some will be more helpful than others. Use the inter net,and let us remember we have the Holy Spirit who will guide us[John 16v13],ask Him to grant you discernment,always be discerning.We really do need to have a passion for Gods word,to read it ,to understand it,to live it,and in all things to Glorify Christ.
                                               A prayer.
Dear God thank you for your  word,that word that makes us wise unto
salvation,through faith in Christ,but also that we know Him more clearly,to love Him more dearly,and to follow Him more nearly.Amen.
[Part of a prayer by Richard of Chichester]

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Angry. [ Revelation 21v 1ff]

I heard a dear Christian brother praying,he asked forgiveness for feeling angry,as to why people were suffering ,he did not understand,it sounded
like he felt it was unfair.Many people feel like that,and accuse God,they
say why does God not stop it,if He is God.Now the fact is we will all suffer,
without exception,for we will all die,why does he not stop it?.Two things
come to mind,Gods sovereignty,and  what appears a world that is out of control.The word of God tells that,all things changed,when our first parents sinned,humanity changed, the visible universe changed[Romans 8 v22]
It was mankinds decision to sin,so lets not blame a loving God,as I say the blame falls on us,no I am not trying to load you with guilt for a particular thing ,no  I am pointing out the awful consequences of what we call the fall,upon every human being.It appears God give humanity a choice,[ Genesis 2 v15-17]He told them the consquences of disobedience,which they understood,but they disobeyed,and whiter we realize it we were all involved in this,and we are all suffering the consequences. Now I cannot fully explain the sovereignty of God in all this,only God can explain it.But I believe He is sovereign,and inspite of suffering,He is in control,and through Jesus death on the cross,He offers us salvation,that deals with sin and its
consquences.Our sins can be forgiven ,instead of Hell we have an new heaven and earth,and in that realty there will be no sin.
                                       A prayer.
Dear God we confess our weakness in fully understanding many things,but we praise you that this we do know,that through Christ your son there is hope .Amen.

Monday, 7 March 2016

George and that hymn. [ Luke 15 v 11- 32]

George Matherson by all accounts must have been a wonderful preacher,
many people flocked to hear him.He lived in Scotland,died in 1906,the thing that made him different was he was blind. He had a very good memory,which was a great help,in  his preaching,he wrote a number of books which are still in publication,and a number of hymns,  one particular hymn is still very popular.It appears he may have had a disappointment in love,but he had a sister who helped him a great deal,and she got married.
On the day she got married, he had that evening when alone a tremendous
mental struggle,and it was then he wrote that well known and loved hymn,he said it only took him five minutes to write.
                                O love that wilt not let me go,
                                I rest my weary soul in Thee;
                                I gave thee back the life I owe,
                                that in Thine ocean depths its flow
                                may richer, fuller be.
                                O light that followest all my way,
                                I yield my flickering torch to Thee,
                                my heart restores its borrowed ray,
                                that in thy sunshine's blaze its day
                                may brighter be.

                               O joy that seekest me through pain,
                               I cannot close my heart to Thee;
                               I trace the rainbow through the rain,
                               and feel the promise is not vain,
                               that morn shall tearless be.

                               O cross that liftest up my head,
                               I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
                               I lay in dust life's glory dead,
                               and from the ground there blossoms red,
                               life that shall endless be.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Mothers. [ Exodus 20 v 12 ]

Today is mothers day in our country,people send cards with words of appreciation to  their dear old mum's.Well Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem in
honour of his mother.
                          If I were hanged on the highest hill,
                          Mother O'mine,O'mother O'mine.
                          I know whose love would follow me still,
                          Mother O'mine, O'mother O'mine.
                          If  I were drowned in the deepest sea,
                          Mother O'mine, O'mother O'mine.
                          I  know whose tears would come,
                          down to me,
                          Mother O'mine, O'mother O'mine.

                          If I were dammed of body and soul,
                          Mother O'mine,O'mother O'mine,
                          I know whose prayers would make me whole,
                          Mother O'mine, O'mother O'mine.
                                       A  prayer.
Dear loving heavenly Father,we thank you for mothers,for the love they
they poured out upon us,and the sacrifices they made for us,in Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The Lord disciplines. [ Hebrews 12 v 5 - 11]

My wife woke me,she was unwell,so much so,I had to take her to hospital,
thankfully we are now home.Hopeful the diagnose was right,and the medication will do the trick. It was a bit strange,for it all happened on the
anniversary of my first wife's death.So I was reminded of the wife I lost and the wife I gained,and I thank God,for his goodness.On looking back I can trace the hand of God,the Lord taketh and Lord giveth,What other way can we look at things,as a Christian ,I trust one who loves me,and cares for me,
He would not harm a hair on my head,even though things do hurt me,people hurt me,and sometimes I even hurt myself. Don't get me wrong He is not an
indulgent father,oh no,he brings His children up,disciplining them,for
all  children need discipline.It is not nice to witness the behaviour of children,who are let do whatever,they want.I went to a school which used corporal punishment, I know things can go to far,but when it is carried out
in a fair balanced way,it does one no harm.So when our Loving heavenly
Father disciplines us,it is always fair,and for our good,what ever he
chooses ,as his instrument of punishment,it will always be for our good.Why do I say that?,because the Lord disciplines those He loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.[Hebrews 12 v 8]
                                     Have thine own way Lord,
                                     have thine own way;
                                     Thou art the potter, I am the clay;
                                     mould me and make me after Thy will,
                                     while I am waiting,yielded and still.

                                      Have thine own way Lord,
                                      have thine own way.
                                      hold  o'er my being absolute sway;
                                      fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see,
                                      Christ only,always,living in me.
                                           [Words by  A. A. Pollard ]

Friday, 4 March 2016

What has God said.[ John 11 v 40]

We are all different,some see the glass half full while others see it as half empty.When the Israelites were at the the borders of the promised land,they listened to the report of the 12 people who had spied out the promised land.
Ten of them give a very negative report which effected the people,the other two spies spoke to the people,they had seen  what the ten had seen,but they had faith in God,that whatever the difficulties they would overcome them,for God had promised this land to them.If God has promised us something,then he will fulfil his word,no matter what the difficulties.Jesus
said to woman,who had lost a loved one,said I not unto thee,if thou wouldest believe,thou shouldest see the glory of God[John 11v40].We must
rise in faith above our natural feelings of negativity,and trust in the the living God.Here what Jesus is saying to your heart,and believe,don't be sucked in to unbelief and disobedience,by what others say.God gave me a
word recently to a woman who had months to live,she obeyed it,she is now recovering,if she had not she would now be dead.
                                           A  prayer.
Dear God have mercy,we confess that we are so easily influenced by others,and our own,weak hearts. Help us to believe the word you give us
and obey it,in Jesus name Amen.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

We are not self sufficient. [Luke 12 v15-21]

In his book ,'Grace unknown,' R.C.Sproul,writes about Gods self sufficiency,he writes,' God alone is the ground of his own being,'whereas we are not self sufficient,in God we live,and move,and have our being[ Acts17v28].R.C.Sproul rightly points out that we depend on the power
of God's being for us to exist.Consider the life force within us,why should our hearts just keep on pumping blood,can anybody explain that life force?.
I can,in God we live and have our being,the moment He withdraws that life force we die,at least our bodies die,but there is that after death existence.
That's why we are foolish to ignore this truth,sad to say there are many such fools,we read about one in Luke 12,our Saviour told the story of  a man who
was blinded by prosperity.He was going to retire with his pocket of gold lie
down on the beach,enjoy the sun,eat drink and be merry.Thats what he said
to himself,but God said,you fool,this night your soul will be required of you,all the things you have accumulated will no longer be of any value to you.God goes on to point out that when a person leaves Him out of their life, then they end up in big trouble.I repeat ,in God we live and have our beings we are not self sufficient ones.In all this God has made provision
for us all,through Jesus his Son,when we trust him as our Saviour,then and then only,can we be secure ,and safe.
                                Jesus lover of my soul,
                                Let me to Thy bosom fly,
                                While the nearer waters roll,
                                While the tempest still is high:
                                Hide me,O my Saviour hide,
                                Till the storm of life is past,
                                Safe into the haven guide,
                                 O receive my soul at last.
                                      [Words by Charles Wesley]

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

lt does make a difference.[ Psalm 124 ]

Life can be filled with challenges,difficulties,things one would never choose
the young girl who has spoken about living with an alcoholic parent.I can think of many people who live with abusive others,for the want of a better term.Some are trapped,I remember a friend,who said in a note of despair,
of the  thought,of living the rest of her life with a husband who loved her but was very difficult to live with,plus there was no sexual relationship,
no intimacy. Yet many years later she is still with her husband,she is a
Christian,but because one is a Christian,does not make it any less easy.But it does make a difference,it may not seem so,if you are not a Christian,but in whatever situation ,being a Christian does make a difference. What  is the
difference?,well first of all there is faith in God, who we believe is in control,of all things that come into our lives,now of course that may raise
questions that one cannot understand,or explain. But it is the best and safest
answer,it is a declaration of faith in Jesus who loves us,so much that He died for us.If He loved us so much ,surely He is caring for us,and out the twisted wreckage of our life's experience,will work all things for our good.
                             Since all that I meet,shall work for my good,
                             The bitter is sweet,the medicine is food.
                             Though painful at present,twill cease before long.
                             And then O how pleasant, the conquerors song.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Whom shall I send?. [ Isaiah 6 ]

There is a saying in the army, never volunteer,there is also a saying,never say never.My mind turns to the book of Isaiah,chapter six,there we read of God asking a question,/Whom  shall I send?.And who will go for us/.God
wanted someone to volunteer,and of course Isaiah did,He replied,/Here am I,send me/.Why did God not just command Isaiah to go,like he did with Jonah,I suppose if God had asked ,whom shall I send?,who will go for us,there would have been a  stony silence from Jonah,and he would have been guided by those words never volunteer. But both prophets went ,one reluctantly,the  other willingly.Isaiah had the harder task,for he was sent to Gods people,one just has to read Israels history,to appreciate how difficult
was the task Isaiah faced. Whereas Jonah had a relatively easier task ,the gentile people of Nineveh for they  repented and turned to God.God is still asking the same question ,whom shall I send,and who will go for us?,how are we going to answer ?
                                              A  prayer.
Dear God send forth labourers,into a world that is perishing,in Jesus name Amen.