verse of the day

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Half full,half empty. [Romams 8]

We are told that an optimist is one who looks at a half filled class and sees it as half full,the pessimist looks at the same glass and he sees it as half empty.The fact of the matter is ,life is both a half empty class,and a half full class and we have to drink of both during our earthly pilgrimage,whither we are a pessimist or optimist.Most us can cope with the half full glass,holidays, sunny days,but life has its cold winter days,and holidays enjoyable though they be,will not remove life with its grim realities.There is so much suffering in this world,yes there is much that is good and nice,but the pictures of those who are suffering hunger war etc,remind us that we live in a fallen world.None of us are allowed to escape that reality,we may try,but we cannot succeed.Thankfully there is greater reality,which one cannot see with the naked eye,it can only be seen with the eye of faith.When
that happens then we have hope ,in spite of situations being hopeless,we have a future that is secure in an insecure world.This will all come about when we embrace Christ  as our Saviour,and follow Him.
                                        A prayer.
Dear God we praise that in Christ your Son we can find hope and purpose
Amen .

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Soften my heart. [ 1 Corinthians 13]

I had heard on the radio about an earthquake in the lovely country of Italy,I have spent a couple of holidays in Italy.The day after I heard the news item I bought a news paper,and the cover photo showed  the awful devastation,
and I found myself saying I forgot to pray that morning for those affected by the earthquake.I showed the newspaper picture to someone,and got a very limited response,and I wonder are we becoming indifferent,to those tragedies we see daily on the news.I know we hear continually so many
awful things ,every day we hear of suicide bombers,of people dying in drowning accidents,car accidents,of people with cancer,and so we can go on
Be that as it may may ,I do hope that we will guard our hearts,from turning off from the suffering of others,that as we watch the news we whisper a prayer.Let us broaden this out,everyday we rub shoulders with many people
who are unsaved,Let us remember we will all die,but we will not all be going to heaven,let us never forget,peoples spiritual need,that can only be
met by Jesus.
                               Soften my heart Lord,soften my heart.
                               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]

Monday, 29 August 2016

Only God can. [ Exodus 14 v13-14 ]

I  received a letter about Christians working in spoke of situations that are very hard to cope with,womem getting into trouble during
pregnancy,and the Christian doctors have very little resources to deal with that situation.Samuel the missionary doctor writes the following,''The situation has brought me into a deeper relationship with the people in this community,with local believers,with other health workers and missionaries ,and with God himself,as we face situations where no degree of training or ingenuity will work.Only God can''.We can learn so much from those words 'only God can',in all our situations,for there are so many situations this can apply to.I remember a Christian couple who were in a difficult situation,there appeared no way out,and I received a word from God,and it was,''Now you shall see what God will do''.The Lord did intervene and help that couple,so today look up to Him who can
exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think[Ephesians 3 v20]
                                          A  prayer.
Dear God we thank that when we reach the end of our hidden resources ,we can rest assured that you are not limited,in Jesus name we thank You Amen

Sunday, 28 August 2016

How big is your God.? [ Psalm 121 ]

Selwyn Hughes on his  devotional on the book of Amos ,write,''The prophet never lets the people off the 'theological hook' for one moment. He will not
allow them for a second to domesticate God by reducing Him to human dimensions''Now Israel lived among nations who had their own gods.many worshipped local deities.As we read the scriptures we are continually reminded of the greatness of God,in Genesis we are told the He created all
things,one of the most wonderful chapters is Isaiah 40,written to His people
who were feeling weak and insignificant,The Psalmist prays to the Lord who made heaven and earth[Psalm 121v1],and Job is silenced when he is reminded that he is speaking to the one who is almighty[Job 40 v1]We are earth bound creatures,but we have a God who is bigger than planet earth.
Most nights I go into my garden and look up into the heavens,although I can only see a few stars I am reminded afresh of the greatness and glory of God,who is my God and yours.His wisdom is infinite,his knowledge is
total,His power is awesome,His ways are unfathomable.
                                      A  prayer.
Dear God we worship You,we who are finite worship you our infinite God ,and rejoice in your mercy and love in Jesus Amen

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Accepting Gods will. [Romans 12v1 - 2 ]

Accepting the will of God, our Saviour prayed,Father,if you are willing take
this cup from me,yet not my will,but yours be done.[Luke 22 42]There are times in which we like Jesus will be faced with experiences we would rather not go through.No matter what it may be ,Jesus was not refusing Gods will
,but He was finding it hard ,and who can blame  Him . Only He knew the full extent of  what  He was going to face , and knew  just how much his death meant .Jesus had to die , if He  didn't die then  we would all suffer eternal death.Can we pray what Jesus prayed? , yes we can , but if we do , will we be willing  to accept Gods answer? , Jesus did , Are we prepared for the answer He gives ,are we prepared to accept God's will ? . He may heal
but  He may not ,He may deliver but  He may not ,Are we unreservedly 
willing to accept Gods will ? , you may be reading this at a  time of crises
well it is only acceptance of Gods will ,that will bring peace . and blessing .
                                          A  prayer .
Dear God help us accept your will , even it is a no,or a yes , a go or a stay
in Jesus name Amen                                                                                                                        

Friday, 26 August 2016

No adding on[ John 14 v6 ]

Yesterday we looked at as Bishop Handley writes,''That there is no separable ''Gospel of the Spirit''.Not for a moment are we to advance, as it were, from the Lord Jesus Christ to a higher or deeper region,ruled by the Holy Ghost''.There are those who teach this,that we have to go beyond Christ to be fully a Christian,not so,I have Christ what want I more?,what need I more?.Stephen Neil writes about those false teachers in the early church would in essence worm their way ,and tell those early Christians, what you have is quite all right,and a good foundation for faith.Now let us finish it off for you,and you really would be  Christians''Beware of any body who wants to add on anything to our faith in Christ ,You may feel that you are lacking as a Christian,you feel if only I had more power,we have all felt this,but the fact of the matter is we all who are Christ's have the power of God within us,the Holy Spirit, who will and does  equip us for Christian living
                                          A prayer.
Dear God grant unto us all discernment, and help us not to be tossed back and forth by the waves,and blown here and there by every wind of teaching,
and by the cunning and graftiness of men in their deceitful scheming,in Jesus name we ask this Amen.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

A single experience. [ Romans 8 v 15 ]

When I was young Christian a man said to me,''have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?''.Now these words are taken from Acts 19v1ff,
spoken by Paul to,two disciples of John,they new nothing about the Holy Spirit,they were not Christians,but eventually Paul the apostle explained to them about Christ they believed and were baptised,and when he laid his hands on them they did receive  the Holy Spirit.John Stott writes,''The laying on of hands by the apostles ,followed by tongue speaking and
prophesying were special to Ephesus,as to Samaria,demonstrated visibly that they had become become Christians;the NT does not universalise this''
Roman 8 v 9 tells us clearly that,'' if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ,he does not belong to Christ''.in the same verse we have the Spirit of  God,Stott says,''This is not confusing the persons of the Trinity,but to stress that while they are eternally distinct in their personal modes of being,they also share the same divine essence and will.What the Father does
he does through the Son,and what the son does he does through the Spirit.
Indeed,wherever each is,there are the others also''.
Tomorrow we will follow on with this to show that receiving Christ is not a two  tier experience.
                                          A prayer.
Dear God we thank you that when Christ became our Saviour the Holy Spirit came to dwell in our lives, Amen.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

God looks.[ 1 Samuel 16 v7 ]

I found myself praying,that God would help me glorify Him outwardly and inwardly.Samuel the great prophet was told to go and anoint another king,as
he viewed the possible candidates ,he was taught a valuable lesson which we all need to learn,and most of all remember.''The Lord does not look at things man looks at.Man looks at the outward appearance,but the Lord looks at the heart''[1 Samuel 16 v7 ].Consider how much humanity looks on
the outward appearance,buy the Hello magazine,there you have dressed in all there finery,in their beautiful homes,with their beautiful children,and their beautiful cars.There is nothing wrong with valuing beauty,but that is not what should be the touchstone of our lives,for as we know beauty is only skin deep.David saw a beautiful woman and what followed was far from beautiful,Samson likewise ,and the result was he lost his strength,his sight and his freedom.[Judges 16 ].The apostle Paul valued so much that was outward,his religion,his nationality,his religious standing,but none of those things were of value in Gods eyes.It was only when he found Christ
as his Saviour that he discovered what was of most value in Gods eyes.
                                           A  prayer.
Dear God open the eyes of our understanding at all times ,to what is of value in your eyes,in Jesus name Amen.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

If only. [ Acts 7 v51-60]

I read this recently by Selwyn Hughes,''Without the moral compass of Gods 
Word our lives are cast adrift on a sea of uncertain opinions. All sense of direction will be lost''.As one reads the history of Israel which was more tragic than glorious ,yes there were times when as nation they followed
God,in that they obeyed His words and sought to bring their lives into conformity to His word.But sad to say they never got out of the habit of doing what was right in their own eyes,never ,God who would have been their Saviour became their Judge.Time after time God pleaded with them through the word spoken by the prophets,but they remained a stiff-necked ,rebellious,people.It need not have been that way,if only they had obeyed Gods word,if only,is the words that sums up Israel ,if only,and when their Messiah came they treasured the word,but not the Saviour of the word,and so it remains to this day,if only,if only.
                                              A prayer.
Dear God help us to see how vital it is to hold fast to your word,and to obey it,may it never be said of us,if only,in Jesus name we ask this Amen. 

Monday, 22 August 2016

My Friend [ Psalm 119 v129-136]

I  have a friend who is a converted Roman Catholic,he was a very devout
Roman Catholic ,as was his family,his elder brother became a priest.He
himself had entered a time of training for the priesthood,but  in the end he left it,feeling it was not for him.As you could expect he knows a lot about
RC teaching and practises.One thing that was absent was the scriptures, other than a few verses from the gospels during the mass.Now my friend was very active in opposing those who were  Protestants,and in order to answer questions,that they raised when speaking to them,he asked his priest for a New Testament.When his mother saw him reading the Bible she was upset and told him off,and said she would tell the priest,she was a bit knocked back,when he told her that the priest had given him the NT.When he asked his priest why RC's did not read the scriptures,he was told,it was because  when people read the Bible they become Protestants.And so it came to pass, for through reading the scriptures my friend did became a protestant.
                                     A  prayer.
Dear God we thank you for your word,help us to hold fast to your word,
and to proclaim it faithfully,and with confidence in its power,in Jesus name Amen.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

How much [ 1 John 3 v1 ]

When Jesus wanted to stress how much our Father in heaven cares  for His children,He said two very impressive things in Matthew 10 v 29-31,''Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?,yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.And even the very hairs of your head are numbered.So don't be afraid;you are worth more than many sparrows''Spurgeon writes the following,''Here is a sermon against fear,and sparrows are the text.These birds are of little worth,and you are of far greater consideration than many of them.God observes the death of a sparrow,and he much more notes the lives and deaths of his people.Even
the least part of his children's frame has been registered.The very hairs of their head are counted and catalogued,and,to the most minute circumstances
all their lives are under the arrangement of the Lord of love.Chance is not in
our creed; the decree of the Eternal Watcher rules our destiny,and love is
seen in every line of that decree''
                                         A  thought.
''The Jews were so impressed with the individual care of God, that they said
every blade of grass had its guardian angel''.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Witnessing [Acts 1 v8]

I have a confession to make I don't always witness when I should,I think my time in social services has made me more cautious,than I should be.Why do we to witness to people?because Jesus said we should[ Acts 1v8].There are different reasons why we don't witness,we don't want people to think we are religious nuts.We want to be liked,for people to think well of us,who wants to be despised,no one,but of course the one we follow was despised [Isaiah 53 v3 ].The  thought of speaking to others about Jesus,for many is something they would rather run away from,they feel they just cannot do it.I wear a little cross around my neck ,as a witness,but I know that it is not enough,I must tell them about Christ who died on a cross to save them.If a person is married to a non Christian,they cannot be bombarding them with words as regards their faith,but they can live a godly life.That would also apply  to the work place, but that does not mean that we don't speak of Christ.Yes I don't always speak to people about Jesus,but many times I have,of course I have made mistakes,I am no super evangelist,but I have never lost sight of peoples need of Christ,and my responsibility to tell them
                                       A prayer.
Dear God help us in all weakness to live the gospel,and to tell forth the gospel for our Saviours sake Amen.

Friday, 19 August 2016

No speculation [ Matthew 24 v36-51]

I was at a wedding reception,and as I gazed at the people assembled ,the words of our Saviour came to mind,''As it was in the days of Noah, so it will
be at the coming of the Son of Man.For in the days before the flood,people were eating and drinking ,marrying and giving in marriage''[Matthew 24 v37ff]Then He tells how those people were oblivious to the judgement that fell upon them.On looking back on my Christian life in Northern Ireland,the thing that saddened me was the division created by the different schools of thought on the events that indicate our Lords return. When our Saviour was about to leave and return to Heaven,He cut across their curiosity by telling them,''It is not for you know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority[Acts 1 v 7] William Barclay wrote,''The coming of Christ
is certain,but the time of that coming is quite unknown.Speculation is vain
and useless,people will come with false prophecies and false predictions.'' One thing is certain Christ is coming again,and as one person said,''No man will foresee it,and all men will see it.A preacher was asked the question when is the Lord coming back?,he replied,'maybe today,so be ye ready.'
                                           A  prayer.
Dear God we thank for the blessed hope we have that Jesus is coming again
help us to live with that in mind ,in His name we ask this Amen.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Broken relationships.[ Ephesians 5 v25-33]

Our next door neighbours are being married,they have been divorced,have
been living together,my wife and I are attending the reception.This is the way it is in our society,our other immediate neighbours,have been divorced,they have not remarried,but have lived together for many years.
Divorce and remarriage is not a new thing,our Saviour sought to stress the importance of marriage,because of those things that weakened it. In Islam
divorce is easy,but it is not without pain,but that's the way it is.In the West divorce likewise is easy,but it is not easy,for the children,and usually one of the people involved can suffer greatly.  Yet I believe Gods purpose for
humanity is marriage,even though it brings with it ,a great challenge,to be faithful,loving,and committed.As a Christian I am not there to judge people,even though they may have acted wrongly,adultery is a sin,that's what Gods word teaches [Exodus 20 v14 ].I am reminded in the words of William Shakespeare ,that the course of true love ,never runs smooth,but I would add,'with true love it will succeed'
                                        A prayer.
Dear God in a world where so many things are broken,have mercy ,and help
any one who is struggling in their marriage,and those who are trying again,
in Jesus name Amen.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Prayer counts. [ Psalm 27 v8 ]

I read these words recently penned by the late Selwyn Hughes,''Your prayers count more than you think''. I often people speak of prayer,like it may work,like  the proverbial rabbits foot.Then we look out into the world,
and think can my prayers really make any difference.Or we look at certain
situations and feel nothing can effect,or change it,even though we pray .Take hold of those words by Selwyn Hughes,our prayers count more than you think,this is the word for us all today,believe it,and keep praying.One of my grandsons ,who has no qualifications ,and has found it difficult to find employment,applied to a university,and was accepted,an answer to prayer,for I, and his parents have been praying a long time for him ,but then the university  said they where concerned that he had no qualifications.So I prayed and prayed,so did his parents,and I am sure he did,and God answered prayer,for it has been confirmed that he has a place.
Remember what I wrote in an earlier blog,''When we pray coincidences
happen,when we don't pray,they dont''.
                                         A  prayer.
Dear God help us to not limit the importance of prayer,and the power of prayer,in Jesus name we ask this Amen

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Why pray? [James 5 v17- 18]

 Why pray? a good question,after all Gods knows,that's true,often we don't know what to pray,maybe you can add a lot more to the thought ,why pray?.Why pray?,because we are told to by our Lord,not only are we told to pray,but we are told not to give up praying[Luke 18v1].He also gave us a pattern as to how we should pray[Matthew 6v6-13],also we who follow
Jesus can and should follow His example,in that He prayed.We need to appreciate that prayer is not just about asking,it should be a time of talking as a man speaks with a friend[Exodus 33 v11],but of course we are speaking to God, who is to be reverenced,for He is God.We often sing that old hymn ,''What a friend we have in Jesus'',well He is our friend ,[John 15 v14],so talk to Him as a friend. Be honest with Him,tell Him how you feel,
always remember when it comes to prayer,honesty is the best policy.Yet prayer is about making our requests knowing unto God,some people feel they should not ask God for anything,wrong we should,because Jesus said we should [Matthew 7 v7].Will it make any difference if I don't pray?,
yes it will,''William Temple is reputed to have said, ''When,I pray,
coincidences happen,and when I don't they don't'',so pray.

                          What various hindrances we meet
                          in coming to the mercy seat,
                          Yet who,that knows the worth
                          of prayer,
                          But wishes to be often there.

                          Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw,
                          Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw;
                          Gives exercise to faith and love,
                          Brings every blessing from above.

                          Restraining prayer ,we cease to fight;
                          Prayer makes the Christian's armour bright:
                          And Satan trembles when he sees
                          The weakest Christian on his knees.
                              [Words by William Cowper]

Monday, 15 August 2016

Not forgotten [Isaiah 49 v 14-16 ]

There I was about to preach,when I discovered I had the wrong sermon notes,with me.what was I to do?.Well it all worked out,my friend the pastor
nipped back to his home and brought me the right notes.Everything worked out fine.I envy those ministers who can preach without notes,when I used to sing I always had the words in front of me.A good memory is a wonderful thing ,Luther stressed the importance of a good memory if one was a preacher.When Joseph was in  prison[Genesis 39v19/40-41]he was in prison
for 13years,during that time he had interpreted two dreams,of  Pharaoh's
cup bearer, and his baker,these two men had offended Pharaoh,and so landed in prison.The cup bearer was told by Joseph he would be released and restored to his former position,the baker was told he would die.Joseph asked the cup bearer to mention to Pharaoh his plight,but he forgot.never giving him a thought.But God had not forgotten Joseph,and in His time He brought Joseph out,remember our times our in His hands.In fact God says as to His children ,''Can a woman forget her nursing child,that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb. Even these may forget ,yet I will not forget you''.[Isaiah 49v15].
                                            A  prayer
Dear God we praise You that none of your dear children are forgotten by You people may forget about us but you wont,we thank You in Jesus Name Amen.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Bitterness. [Ruth 1 v 19-21 ]

I have just finished studying the book of Ruth, David  Atkinson's book on this lovely story is very helpful.says,''If there is one theme more than any other which dominates the book of  Ruth ,it is that of the over-ruling providence of God,and our human dependence on Him.God is the source of
life,and its blessings ,are a gift from His hand''So we have two things that he mentions that are very important for us to bear in mind.As to the providence of God D A,writes of the certainty,delight,and the security of this wonderful
doctrine.Now in the book of Ruth,we have many sad things recorded, famine, upheaval,death, Naomi ,Ruths mother-in-law,experiences so much sadness,at one stage she delares call me not Naomi[meaning pleasant ],but
call me Mara[meaning bitter],but she does not stop there she declares,''For the Almighty has dealt  very bitterly with me''.She still believed in God
and His sovereign providence ,even though it was a bitter pill to swallow.
Do not be fooled by those who tell you a distorted view of what it means to be a follower of Jesus,it is the way of the cross that leads home.
                                            A prayer
Dear God help us keep believing and trusting in  our times when we experience that which is bitter in Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Purgatory [ Romans 10v 9-13 ]

Now back to William Tyndale, who lived for one purpose alone, that of translating the word of God into English.He succeeded in this,but at great cost,by being partial strangled,and then being burnt to death.Just before he died he prayed,that the king of England's eyes would be opened.He also had said,''that if God spared his life a boy behind a plough,would know more of
the scripture than the  Pope did''Europe was held fast in the tyranny of the Church of Rome,under the Pope scripture was hidden,and many ,many errors came into being.One of these errors was purgatory,which is not to be found in scripture,but was a twelfth century invention.It is a belief that we go to purgatory,when we die,to be refined in its flames,the church taught that this suffering could be reduced if a mass  was said,but of course a mass would cost money.In fact all it ever has been is a money making business.Henry V11,sought to avoid it by having ten thousand masses said for his soul at 6d a time. We owe so much to the likes of William ,and to all who translate  the scriptures,for as we are told ,faith cometh by hearing and
hearing by the word of God ,[Romans 10v 17]
                                           A prayer.
Dear God we thank for William Tyndale,and for all who translate the word of God,for a true knowledge of your word we will  be ensnared in error,
and never come to a true knowledge of salvation,by trusting in Jesus Amen.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Per Solam Fidem .[ Romans 4 v 3/5v1 ]

I have started to read again the life of Gods outlaw,William Tyndale the
great translated the word of God into English.At that time very few people had a Bible,most of the Bibles were in Latin,which very few could read.At
that time the papacy ruled,but not in truth,then God raised up Martin Luther,
a man who was a professor of theology.Brian Moynahan writes this ,''His life was earnest;he prayed,he fasted,he carried out penances and made lists
of his sins. 'And yet my conscience kept nagging,' he wrote.''It kept telling me;''You fell short there....You were not sorrybenough...You left that sin off your list,'' Redemption,he feared,was denied him. He sought to ease the pain in his soul with' human remedies,the traditions of men'.''All his religiosity
brought no relief until he read ,six words from the epistle to the Romans,
'' The righteous shall live by faith''Then he realised that nothing the then church prescribed ,or any thing he did could save him,The Christian was justified  per solam fidem,by faith alone,and so began what we now called the reformation.Now I started writing about William Tyndale,I will continue  with him next time.
                                       A  prayer.
Dear God we thank that You ,that through faith alone in Jesus we are saved

Thursday, 11 August 2016

March on. [ 1 Corinthians 1 v26-31]

It was the time of the Judges,where we read,'everyone did as he saw fit'[21v25],unfortunately,this led the nation continually to go astray ,which means they did evil in the eyes of the Lord. The result was the Lord punished them,and caused their enemies to rule over them,and they oppressed them,then after a period of time they came to their senses ,they then cried out to the Lord for help,and He raised up leaders who laid them to victory. These leaders were mainly men,but there was one exception
Deborah[chap  4-5],who was a prophetess.The result was ,their enemies were defeated,and when the battle was over,she and a man called Barak sang a song of victory.One line of that song struck me as interesting,it reads
O my soul, march on in strength[Judges 5 v21].These words came  as a 
challenge to me,and I hope to you,consider again who was singing these words, Deborah  a women.That was going against the trend,where men lead
,yet God will use whom He will,be it a woman,or a child,or even you,or even me. But, we may say Lord I am weak,but God says to us afresh,  march on in my strength[46 v1], and if do you will know the victory,as Deborah did.
                                        A  prayer.
Dear God,we are weak,but in your strength we can march on ,and be victorious,in Jesus name Amen.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The eternal glories [ Hebrews 11v 8-16 ]

I can imagine standing in heaven,and thinking how absolutley wonderful that I did not miss this,and yet I could have.I can only imagine what heaven be like,we know there will be no suffering,of any kind,that every aspect of our exsistance will be perfect,yes we will be perfect.We will never be bored
we will all truly love each other,no more bickering,or fighting,no more
disappointments.There we will perfect communion with God,nothing between us to hinder our relationship,no guilt or failures,no accidents. In
1 Corinthians 2 v9,we read,''No eye has seen,no ear has heard,no mind has conceived what God prepared for those who love Him''now of course as he writes in verse 10,there are things God has revealed to us by His Spirit.But the glories and wonders that we will experience in heaven,is hidden from us,the apostle Paul having experienced a glimpse of Heaven,writes that,''
he heard unexpressible things,things that man is not permitted to tell[2
Cor  12 v4].Charles Hodge writes,''The vail which conceals the mysteries
 and glories of heaven God has not permitted to be raised.It is enough that we know that in that world the saints shall be made perfectly holy and perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God forever''
                                         A  prayer.
Dear God help us to keep the eye of faith on the eternal glories that shine afar,to remember we are aliens and strangers on earth, in Jesus name we ask this Amen

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Compromise. [ Daniel 3 ]

There's been a load of compromises,on the road to my horizon,so goes the words from an old song. It may only be what we would call a secular song ,
but many of, us can identify with those words. It has been said that the art
of politics,is compromise,likewise if labour disputes are to be resolved there
has to be compromise.There is legitimate compromises and ill- legitimate compromises,and its the latter that causes us concern.One tries to be consistent to only make  legitimate compromises,but somehow we fail,and we look back with regret.Cardinal Wolsey was lord, chancellor during Henry V111 reign,but he was hated by Anne Boleyn who became Henry's
wife,and she conspired to destroy him.The king had him arrested and was being brought to the Tower of  London,to be tried,and to be executed.
Before he reached the tower he became very ill ,and was taken to Leicester
Abbey,where he died,but before he died,he said,'' If  I had served God as
diligently as I had served the King,he would not have given me over in my
grey hairs''. For him there had been a load of compromises,and he paid the price,we all can justify making ill-legitimate compromises,but what we will
find like Wolsey,there is a price to pay.which we will find hard to live with.
                                            A  prayer.
Dear God help us all to not follow the worldly adage of  the means justifying the end,in mercy help us,to be faithful to you in all things
in Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

A little bird told me [ Ecclesiastes 10 v20]

I let something slip out when I was speaking to someone,and later on I felt concerned that it may be repeated,and so cause a misunderstanding.It was a reminder to me,and I do need reminded,to watch my words,for we all know the danger in careless words.Once we say something anything,those words
cannot be taken back.In Ecclesiastes 10 v20,we read,''Never make light of the king,even in your thoughts.And don't make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom. For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said''.I suppose that's were the saying comes from a little bird told me,but the important thing is this,be careful what we say,even to our closest friends.Remember people love to share things,years ago,I remember an old lady who came into our home,and the first thing she would say was,''did you hear what'',Again  we read in Ecc 5 v2 ,''Do not be quick with your mouth,do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven,and you are on earth,so let your words be few''. In other words ,God is listening,that should cause us all  to pray everyday, for God to help us ,to watch what we say.
                                         A prayer.
Dear God forgave us those things we said ,that we should not have,dear God help us to watch what we say in Jesus name Amen.
                     [I will return on Tuesday 9th every blessing]

Friday, 5 August 2016

Nothing but the truth. [ Psalm 119 v 104-105 ]

When Pope Nicholas 5th was on his death bed  he summoned his cardinals,he told them that loyalty of the 'uncultured masses' of believers was best obtained through giving them 'something that appeals to the eye'. Ideas and theology carried little weight ;a popular faith'sustained only on doctrines',he assured them, would' never be anything but feeble and vacillating. Of course he being the infallible one,his successors took up what he said as from God,the result the Vatican,and the Sistine chapel.On a recent holiday in Malta,I visited the cathedral in the capital,and was struck by the dazzeling grandure of that building.I have visited many cathedrals in England and in contrast to the cathedral in Malta,they are bare places.It goes back of course to the reformation,when the emphasise was the truth, that were taught in the word of God.The fact is, dazzeling building are but dazzeling buildings,it is the truth that we find in Gods word, that ,and that alone is what is vital.The result of following pope Nicholas teaching,has caused the church of Rome to loosen their grip on Gods truth.When it comes to my faith ,I want the truth,the whole truth,and nothing but the truth,and I will only find that in Gods word.
                                           A  prayer.
Dear God tear away from your church all that weakens our faith in your word in Jesus name Amen.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

An unfeeling immense universe. [ Hebrews 11 v1-2 ]

Many years ago I took one of my sons to the cinema,before the movie began,they played a particular song,with the words,''Is anybody out there?''
This was amusing to my son and me,for we were the only people in the
cinema.In this universe with its unimaginable vastness,many people are asking the same question is anybody out there.Surely they think , there must be similar planets,as ours,with living creatures,and if there are ,are
they friendly or aggressive?.The fact is there is no evidence that there are
any such planets,so does that mean we are alone as David Atkinson writes
in an unfeeling immense universe.Here we are the inhabitants of a very ,
very small planet,within a universe that has billions and billions of stars and planets. The good news is we are not alone,as D A.writes,''God is there,God cares,God rules,God provides''.Selwyn Hughes wrote the following,''Let us
be thankful that all creation is energised and controlled not by an impersonal force but by a personal being.Behind everything that moves is not a cosmic force but a compassionate face.We can give a name to that face and know that person: Jesus'' [CP Colossians 1 v15-17].
                                            A  prayer.
Dear God we thank you for Jesus through whom all things were created and sustained,and above all else we thank you that that we are not alone,Amen

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Perfect peace. [ Philippians 4 v4-9]

As I said yesterday there are two types of peace,[a] Peace with God.[b]The peace of God.Let us consider the latter,D.A.Carson writes ,''The world is powerless to give peace.There is sufficient hatred, selfishness,bitterness ,
malice,anxiety and fear that every attempt at peace is rapidly swamped.'' So
here is what John 14 v27 says,''Peace I leave with you'',Jesus did not leave
us a promise of wealth,even perfect health,but that which we need so very much,peace.Then Jesus says,''my peace I give unto you'',He is the source and the giver of true peace.Next Jesus says,''I do not give to you as the world gives,''W.Barclay  wrote the following,''The peace which the world offers us is the peace of escape,the peace which comes from the avoidance of trouble,the peace,the peace which comes from refusing to face things''He
goes unto write,''The peace which Jesus offers us is the peace of conquest.
It is the peace which no experience in life can take from us. It is the peace
which no sorrow,no danger,no suffering can make less.It is the peace which
is independent of outward circumstances''
                                              A  prayer.
                            Drop Thy still dews of quietness
                            till all our strivings cease;
                            take from our souls the strain and stress,
                            and let our ordered lives confess
                            the beauty of  Thy peace

                            Breathe through the heats of our desire
                            Thy coolness and Thy balm;
                            let sense be dumb,let flesh retire;
                            speak through the earthquake,wind, and fire,
                            O still small voice of calm.
                                     In Jesus name Amen.
                               [Words by J.G.Whittier ]

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Peace .[ Romans 5 v 1-11]

In John 14v27,our Saviour said,''Peace I leave with you,my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled,and do not be afraid.''The Bible tells us of two aspects of peace,the
first is peace with God which comes when we trust Jesus as our Saviour.It is summed up in Romans 5 v1.''Therefore since we have been justified through faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ''.Our state before we become Christians is spelt out for us in Roman 5,we are
classed as,ungodly,sinners,and enemies.Such is our unsaved state we are at war with God,everyone of us,as Leon Morris writes,'' An enemy is not a person who comes a little bit short of being a friend; it means someone in
the opposite camp''.Yes we are not Gods friend,and in that state we are not
at peace with God,if fact He is not at peace with us.William Barclay wrote,
''It was not good men Christ died to save;it was sinners. It was not God's friends Christ died to rescue;it was men who were at enmity with God''.The
wonderful news is through Christ all can be changed,we can be changed, when we trust Him we enter into that wonderful Peace with God.
                                          A prayer.
Dear God we praise You for Jesus the Prince of peace,who died that we may if we trust Him,be at peace with You Amen.

Monday, 1 August 2016

It is His. [ Romans 9 v 21 ]

In his helpful little book on Ruth ,David Atkinson writes about Abraham Kuyper who was Prime Minister of Holland,who was a Christian,said the following''There is not an inch in the whole area of existence of which
Christ, the sovereign of all,does not cry,''It is Mine''.David Atkinson comments,''That all the events of this world's apparent chance and change
are in the hands of a God who has a purpose for his world,a purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time,to unite all things in him,things in heaven and things on earth''.So how do you feel about that?
I  personally receive great comfort to know my times are in His hands,that disappointment are his appointments for me,and for you,sometimes things happen that hurt us,and yet if we receive them aright we can grow.Roses need pruning,we need to cut off the dead wood,cut it back,we are not destroying the rose,that is the last thing I want to do,no I want to improve it,make it a more lovely rose bush.Remember,
                                     ''I'll He blesses is our good,
                                      and unblessed good,is i'll
                                      And all is well,that seems
                                      most wrong ,
                                      If it be His sweet will.