verse of the day

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Free at last [John 8 v36]

Whatever one may think about demon possession and of course it is real, and it was real for that slave girl in Philippi ,[Acts 16 v16-18 ]but we must be careful to not become unbalanced . Every soul needs to be forgiven and set free, because as Jesus said,'' everyone who sins is a slave of sin''[John 8 v34].While being possessed by an evil spirit is awful, we must see the awful bondage of all mankind. A bondage to so many things, pride, sex possessions, drugs, idolatry of all  sorts, envy, hate, filthily mind, filthy language, covertness, need I go on. The wonderful thing about Jesus when we trust him as our Saviour, He forgives us all our sins, I stress all, no matter what sins we have committed, Jesus will forgive us. But it does not stop there, for he tells us,'' if the Son [Jesus] sets you free you shall be free indeed.[John 8 v36].Now that's a wonderful reality , that millions upon millions have and are experiencing, and so can you.
                                            A  prayer.
                            Out of my bondage sorrow and night,
                            Jesus I come, Jesus I come.
                            Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
                            Jesus I come to Thee.
                           [Words  W.T.Sleeper]

Monday, 30 January 2017

Angels of light [ 2 John v 7]

Next we come to a young slave girl, who was demon possessed, we read about demon possession, but many of us are not sure  how to approach it.
But let  us accept that it can be a reality, we can say a lot about Satan, he is called the god of this world, or of this age[ 2 Corinthians 4 v4],our Saviour called him the prince of this world[John 12 v31 ] He and his forces are
powerful, as in the case of this slave girl in Phillippi,he possessed her,and
controlled her [ Acts 16 v16],she was a fortune teller, and made a lot of money for her owners. But as Paul and Silas were going to the place of
prayer ,she followed them, shouting,'' These men are servants of the most
High God, are telling you the way to be saved''. She continued to do this day after day, this grieved Paul, and in the name of  Jesus commanded
the evil spirit to leave her[16 V18],which it did. Now what she had cried out
was right,but Paul knew ,it might be said that he was in alliance with her.
Like Paul we must be clear in our stand for truth, and not have alliances with those who are not true followers of Christ. I have read Mormon literature that appears to be Christian, but a Mormon is not a Christian, remember the Bible tells us that Satan can come to us as an angel of light [2 Corinthians 11 v14].That great theologian Hodge said this,'' Satan does  not come to us as Satan; neither does sin present itself as sin, but in the guise of virtue; and the teachers of error set themselves forth as the special advocates of truth''.
                                          A  prayer.
Dear God deliver us from false religion, no matter how it appears, help us  to stand for your truth even if we have to stand alone for our Saviours
sake, we pray this Amen.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Our loved ones. [ 1 Peter 3 v 1-6 ]

So Lydia became a Christian, but it did not stop there for we read, members of her household also became Christians[Acts 16 v15]It is wonderful when a family receive salvation, I am sure that someone reading this, and they are
saved, but their family is not. I would encourage you to keep praying, and live out the Christian life before them, it is Peter who instructs saved wives
who are married to an unsaved husband ,how they should live ,the result is
they may be won over for Christ[1 Peter 3 v 1-6]. I remember a dear friend of mine,he was and is a lovely Christian, his father was a very violent man
especially to his wife. There was a dread every Saturday night ,when the husband would come in drunk, and be violent to his wife. She remained  with him, then the time came and he became seriously ill. It was then he asked to see his son ,my friend, who told him how to be saved, when he had finished telling him, his father said I will will do what you 've said son. My friends brother also became a Christian, a godly life, I believe will have an influence,that is why it is vital, not just to talk the  talk, but also to walk the walk.
                                         A  prayer.
Dear Lord you know how we desire our  loved ones and friends, to know you  as Saviour, in your mercy may we see it happen ,Amen.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

I confess. [Romans 10 v 10]

The Lord opened the heart of  Lydia ,she became a believer, and she speaks to Paul and friends. She says ,''If you consider me to be a believer in the Lord'' ,I wonder if we said this to someone ,what  would they think or reply?.In  John 12 v42,-43 ,we read, how many Jewish leaders believed in Jesus,''but because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue ,for they loved praise from men more than praise from God''. There are to aspects as to why they were silent
,one was fear of man,secondly they loved the praise of men. They gave more thought as to what they would loose, if they openly confessed Christ.
As William Barclay writes, ''It would have meant an end to their place,their
profit,and their prestige. They would have been ostracised from society,and
banished from orthodox religion. It was too high a price to pay. So they lived a lie because they were not big enough to stand up for the truth'' Bruce
Milne points out,'' Those who expect the Lord to own their names on the day of judgement,he expects to own His name now before a watching world'',[ Mark 8 v38 ]
                                  I'm not ashamed to own my Lord
                                  Or to defend His cause,
                                  Maintain the honour of His word,
                                  The glory of His cross.
                                     [Words by Isaac Watts ]

Friday, 27 January 2017

Our greatest need. [Mark 2 v 1-12 ]

In Phillippi the first convert mentioned was a lady named Lydia ,a business lady, a woman of means. We read this about her conversion, the Lord opened her heart, to respond to Gods word[Acts 16 v14].John Stott comments on this ,he wrote, ''The Lord opened her inner eyes to see and to believe in the Jesus Paul proclaimed. We note that the message was Paul's, the saving initiative was God's. Paul preaching was not effective in itself; the Lord worked through it''. Let us accept these word by faith we may not fully understand them, let us pray, and witness with a deep love and concern for the lost, and trust God . People are so effected by sin it takes a miracle to save them, and only God can work miracles, we can't. The greatest miracle
is the salvation of a soul, and mans greatest need is salvation, let's never loose sight of this truth. People restrict miracles to healing, providing, deliverance yes they can be classed as miracles, but without the miracle of salvation,we will go to a lost eternity. When four friends brought a man who was paralysed to Jesus, He appeared to ignore the mans physical condition, and spoke the words,'' Son your sins are forgiven''. Why? because it was his ,as it is ours, greatest need, to have our sins forgiven.
                                            A  prayer.
Dear Lord Jesus help to see that our greatest need is to have our sins
forgiven by you, Amen .


Thursday, 26 January 2017

A place of prayer. [John 3 v 7]

In response to a vision Paul ,and his companions set forth,and sailed to the
Philippi the leading city in the area called Macedonia. Although the city had
Greek name, it was named after Alexander the Greats father, it was a Roman city. A city that was in fact a Rome in miniature, all things were Roman, they enjoyed freedom from scourging and arrest, and the right to appeal to Caesar, The coins bore Latin inscriptions, there did not appear to
be a Jewish Synagogue there so the local Jews met for worship by a river, We read that the place was a place of prayer, and as Alec Motyer  puts it,
''the church was quite literally born in the place of prayer' '.It was there that Paul and his companions told them about Christ, let us remember, although people pray and attend a place of worship, they still need a Saviour,that  Saviour is Jesus. As Jesus told a very religious person, he needed to be born again, that new birth comes about by trusting Jesus[John 1 v12 ]
                                Ye children of men attend to the word
                                 So solemnly uttered by Jesus, the Lord
                                 And let not this message to you be in vain,
                                 ''Ye must be born again''
                                      [ Words by W.T.Sleeper]

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

His will.[ Luke 22 v 41-42 ]

I have started studying the book of Philippians, written by Paul to those early converts. We read how the church came into being in Acts 16,Paul and his companions ,were kept from going into Asia, we do not know what that involved. We all need help to discern Gods will, to accept the closed doors, as part of his will, that does not mean that God has no work for us to  do, God knows what he wants us to do, God was not finished with Paul, no he was just redirecting him. Sometimes it is very hard for us to accept this, we are a bit like that so called prophet Balaam,who sought to go his way and not Gods. he tried and he tried to press on, and all the time, God was saying no. In the end God used a donkey to speak to him. The problem with Balaam was, his mind was set on other things, rather than the will of God, [cp 2 Peter 2 v15].It seems he succumbed to earthly rewards, and paid the price, by being put to death[Joshua 13 v22]. There are preachers and they are following the pound signs, as to were they serve God ,the question one would ask, who and what are they serving, Jesus said we cannot serve God and money[Matthew 6 v24].What was vital in our Saviours life was the will of His Father in heaven, and that should be ours.
                                           A prayer.
Dear God help us to discern what your will is, and what is not your will
in Jesus name Amen.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

We thank You. [ Psalm 100]

We are fearfully and wonderfully made, each day I thank God ,for being able to see, speak, hear, also for taste, and a sound mind, and much more.
We take so much for granted, and sadly to say we only begin to appreciate
these things when they begin to malfunction, or we loose them. All these
things are precious gifts, sadly so many people do not acknowledge the giver of these gifts, yes they are gifts, from God. We are told that every good and perfect gift is from above ,coming down from the Father[James 1 v17]. Consider today the blessing you have, food, clothes, homes, education, and so much more. The old harvest hymn, reminds us that,

                                All good gifts around us,
                                Are sent from heaven above;
                               Then thank the Lord, oh, O thank the Lord,
                                For all His Love.
                                         [Words by, M. Claudius]

Monday, 23 January 2017

Trust Him. [ Habakkuk 3 v 17-19 ]

The winter months can be dull ,cold, and dreary, but today the sun has broken through, yes it is not all doom and gloom. In the darkest of days we
need to remember the sun will shine again, I think of the words of a hymn which goes,''Sometimes a light surprises ,the Christian when he sings;
                     It is the Lord who rises ,with healing in His wings,
                     When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again,
                     A season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.

                     In holy contemplation, we sweetly, then pursue,
                     The theme of Gods salvation, and find it ever new,
                     Set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,
                     E' en let the 'unknown  tomorrow, bring with it what it may.
                     It can bring with it nothing,but He will bear us through,;
                     Who gives the lilies clothing, will clothe His people too;
                      Beneath the spreading heavens, no creature but is fed;
                      And He who feeds the ravens, will give His children bread.

                     Though vine nor fig-tree neither,their wonted fruit should bear,
                     Though all the field should whither, nor flocks nor herds be
                      Yet God the same abiding,His  praise shall tune my voice;
                       For, while in confiding, I cannot but rejoice.
                                    [Words by W. Cowper ]

Sunday, 22 January 2017

No one is innocent. [Romans 3 v23 ]

Consider the following words from Romans 3 v 10 -11,''There is none righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands, no one who seeks after God'' . We are inclined to load ourselves with guilt because people are lost, the fact is mankind is lost because  mankind our sinners,who have turned away from God. That's not my fault, it is not Gods fault, it is their
fault, we have just passed through Christmas, how many have turned to Christ?.  I have witnessed to hundreds of people, very few have responded,I
watched a film recently about Japan, they for a great deal of their history
worshipped their Emperor, yet there was a time when people turned to Christ, but the authorities, brutally eradicated them. Whose fault is that Gods? mankind make their choices, and so often it is the wrong choice. People say what about those who have not heard the gospel?, remember they are not innocent, no one is innocent. Let me repeat this, no one is innocent, not one single person, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God[Romans 3 v23 ] As I have said I like many Christians have witnessed to many people, and that is all we can do, and that is all we are meant to do. I witness to people that God in His mercy will save people,
that they trust Christ, if they don't ,it only adds to their guilt.
                                     A  prayer.
Dear God in your mercy, for you are merciful, save sinners, help us to be faithful in our witnessing, in Jesus name Amen.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Healing. [ Acts v 29- 30 ]

A friend of mine is setting up a healing ministry, what does that entail?, he
shared with me how it would work, people would be vetted, those who come to be prayed for would be advised to continue taken their medication.
It appears often when praying for the sick, one has to proceed with care. people are so vulnerable. I knew a man who sought for healing, believed he
had been healed and he wasn't,. He continued to drive his car, and had a couple of accidents, mercifully the Lord did take him home. There are preachers who teach that one should claim healing even though it has not happened, claim it in faith. That is what that dear man did, stopped taking
his medication, now of course God may give you a word ,promising healing,if it is from God it will happen. No one can guarantee that one will be healed, but it does happen in response to prayer and faith. Yet for many it does not happen, but them the vital thing is the will of God, this is not
a cope out, but a reality, that we need grasp. Elisha the great man of faith died of an illness,[2 Kings 13 v14 ],we will all die eventually, but God may
for His glory ,heal, and so prolong a life, He may not. The age of miracles is not passed, healing can still happen, we cannot force, or blackmail God to make it happen, but let me say it can happen.
                                       A  prayer.
Dear God we ask for wisdom in discerning Your will in all things, we think of many people who are ill, may it please You to heal the sick, for the glory of  Jesus we ask this Amen.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Prisoners of our past.[ Genesis 50 v15-21 ]

The Pastor of the church I attend had ask for people to share something that had touched their lives, a book, a song, whatever. So I brought a book on the  life of Eric Liddell, but just as I got up, the Pastor said that he was a big fan of U2, and how Bonar, had been born into a mixed religious family, one a Catholic, and one a Protestant. The Pastor mentioned a song that was full of desire, for peace in Ireland. Then I was asked to come up to share, well when I did, I felt led to mention Ireland, I said Ireland like people
was a prisoner of its past history. We all of course have a history, but the question is this, how has it affected us?, are we prisoners of it?, it is so easy to become a prisoner of that past. I read of a young man in the Bible called Joseph, he was hated by his brothers, they wanted him dead. They did not kill him but sold him into slavery, there he was unjustly accused of rape, and imprisoned for 13 years. Eventually he was released and promoted to a positioned of great power, and eventually he came face to face, with ,yes you've guessed, his wicked brothers, and you know what he could have done?, instead he forgave them. In doing that he was making a declaration, that he was not going to be a prisoner of his  past.[Read about it
in Genesis 37/ 39-50.]

                 Why not ask God ,as to how you may
                  break free ,from being a prisoner of
                  your past.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Ought . [ Matthew 7 v 24-27 ]

Now let us consider the last ought, that Derek Tidball, challenges us with,
''Christians ought to feast themselves on the nutritious food of truth instead
of on the seductive food of compromise that it is often mistaken for it''.In
Psalm 119 v 26/27/28/30.the writer prays, first,'' Teach me your decrees'' have we a desire to be taught Gods word?, I must confess my memory of school ,was, I was not easy to teach, Lord make us to be teachable, when it comes to your word. Next we read,'' Let me understand the teaching of your precepts,'' important though it is to read Gods word ,understanding it is vital. Next we read,'' Strengthen me according to your word'', The word of God can strengthen us, in our sorrows, disappointments, and difficulties.
Last but not least, he prays,'' I have chosen the way of truth''. We need to do this, to make a diffident choice, to stand on God word, no matter what anyone else does, follow Him who is truth, even Jesus, these are the things we ought to do.
                                      A  prayer.
Dear God grant us grace to do those things we ought to do, in Jesus name Amen.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Are you busy. [ Luke 10 v 38- 42 ]

Life for many is busy,and time is at a minimum, and as Christians the challenge we are faced with is, to not neglect our relationship with the Lord.
We know the importance of prayer ,Bible reading, and fellowship with God, but we are genuinely busy, and feel guilty. What can be do, if one has young children to look after, which is a 24/7 task, plus looking after the home, keeping it tidy, making meals, doing the shopping .We have all these time saving gadgets yet we are still  under great pressure, to fit every thing in. When I was working I would observe women who had children, under so much stress, with all they had to do. Yes for the many life is indeed a challenge, and yet the importance of having that relationship with God is there. There used to be a song which went, 'whistle while you work', well try to pray as you work, pray as you drive, but of course don't close your eyes.snatch time with God, leave a Bible around, read a few verses when you can.Develop having a conversation with God as you go through, yes just talk to Him, about everything, be assured He understands and is listening, and is always delighted to hear from His children.
                                          A  prayer.
O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget Thee
do not forget me. Amen.
  [ Before the Battle of Edgehill, Lord Astley prayed this prayer]

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

A pilgrim people. [ Philippians 3 v 7 - 14 ]

Let us consider the next of DT's four thoughts ,''Christians ought to be a pilgrim people, always making progress and never settling into a state of spiritual complacency'' .In the book of Revelation  the Lord speaks to the church in Laodicea [Revelation 3 v14-23 ], they were not words that they would have wanted to hear, but words they needed to hear. He tells them
that they have lost their zeal, that materialism has taken over, smugness has settled in, they think that they are rich when in reality they were poor. Not only were they not making progress, they were going back, they were what we call backsliders. They were blind to their condition, blinded by prosperity, there is great danger in prosperity, we can so easily let it blind us
as it blinded this church. Let none of us forget that we are a pilgrim people, that this world is not our home, we are aliens and strangers here, we are looking for a better country, a heavenly one.[Hebrews 11 v13-16].Let us all
beware of becoming ,like this church ,for if we do the same fate awaits us that awaited them, listen to the gentle knock of Jesus, on our hearts door, and invite Him in, that He may restore us,
                                             A  prayer.
Dear God forgive our backsliding ways, and restore us spiritually in Jesus name Amen.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Like Jesus. [ 1 John 3 v1- 3 ]

These thoughts came to me ,''I am not what I once was, I am not what I should be,but in a time in the future I will be what I should be''. Yes when Christ saved me my sins where all forgiven, yes there was a change, for the better. When one comes to Christ there is deliverance, we are changed for
the better, yes we are not what we once where. But of course there is still the on going  need of Change, I still get it wrong at times I still sin, I am far from perfect, but there is process going on, we call it sanctification. We have the Holy Spirit within us, who enables us to change, but because we are still in as Paul puts it,  this body of death ,[Romans 7 v 25]we are continually faced with temptations, it is a continual struggle. That means we must rely on Gods Spirit to give us the victory, when we  fail to rely on the Spirit we will fail and fall, then we must turn  and seek forgiveness, in  1 John 1 v 9,we read, ''But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness''.  Someone has said we are a work in progress, yes we are not what we should be , but one day all that will change, we shall be  fully changed, fully saved from all that is wrong within us, Yes the change will be amazing,for on that day we shall be like Jesus [1 John 3 v 2]
                                         A prayer.
Dear God we praise and thank You for the change you have ,and are making in our lives, We ask for grace to rely on Your Spirit every hour of every day, to be overcomers, and not despair.  We look forward to that day when we will be totally saved from all wrong in Jesus name. Amen.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Oughts.. [ Jeremiah 17 v 9 - 10 ]

Let us return to the oughts, the third one, ''Christians ought regularly to examine their lives, and throw out the corrupting influences of sin''. This is to be a healthy check up, not a morbid introspective navel gazing. This is a
biblical practise, when it comes to partaking part in the Lords table, CP. 1 Corinthians11 v28.Also in 2 Corinthians 13 v 5,the  Apostle Paul challenges
the believers ,in this church there were those who were judging Paul, and seeking to undermine  Him and so undermine his teaching. R.VG.Tasker,
writes the following, ''Let them look into their own souls, and they will see that their attitude in this matter is not in keeping with the faith they profess'' So the challenge is how is our attitude, to Gods word, to Gods leaders, to our fellow Christians, have we got a chip on our shoulder?. What wrong
attitude are we carrying about with us?, we need to look at it and ask is this attitude in keeping with us as Christians?. The writer of Hebrews challenges us as regards every weight and those sins that so easily ensnares us[12 v 2],
cast them off, this is something we ought to do.
                                              A  prayer.
                              Search me, O God , and know my heart,
                              Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
                              See if there is any offensive way in me,
                              and lead me in the way everlasting.
                                     [Psalm 139 v33-34 ]

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Oughts. [ Hebrews 3 v 8 ]

Derek Tidball in his book on Leviticus writes of four important,'oughts',
of the Christian life. First,Christians ought to be in haste to obey God's will.
I remember a manager pulling me up, because he thought I was not doing something I should, he said, ''do it'' .There is an old fashion word which
is procrastination, it means putting old, to drag one's feet, playing a waiting game, putting of till tomorrow what should be done today. You get the idea, it is often applied to people putting of deciding for Christ, as the old hymn puts it, 'some more convenient day'. When it comes to salvation we cannot play around with the instant need of trusting Jesus now.Because of the uncertainty of life, when Gods speaks to our hearts it is vital that we do not dither, there is to much at stake. As Christians we should realise the importance of not putting of till another day what God wants us to do now.
When Jesus came to Peter and Andrew mending their fishing nets, He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men'. They immediately
left their nets and followed Him.
                                                A prayer.
Dear God help me to be quick to do your will in Jesus name Amen.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Fierce may be the conflict. [ Hebrews 13 v 3 ]

We were singing that old hymn, ''Who is on the Lords side'', written by Frances . H. Havergal,in our fellowship, when we came to the words,''Fierce
may be the conflict''. My thoughts turned to what I read recently, about a
Christian in India, who lived in Tamil Nadu state. He was  lured out of the fellowship he attended, and found himself surrounded by five men. He sought to escape from them, but they gave chase, he took refuge in a local
church building. The men followed him in ,and killed him with sickles and 
other sharp instruments. This is not an isolated incident, by Hindu extremists, many Christians face harassment and opposition, in life threatening situations. Yes for many Christians, the conflict is fierce, because they follow one who said that He only was the way the truth and the life, and that no one can come unto the Father but by Him[John 14 v6 ].
                                             A  prayer
Dear Lord help those who are suffering for you, comfort the loved ones who
have been bereaved, and gave grace and courage to those who daily face
painful situations, in Your name we ask this Amen.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Stealing [ Ephesians 4 v 28 ]

I went to the store to purchase a audio cd, I  looked in the usual place, but could not find that section, I asked an assistant, who informed me where they were. They were situated  behind the girl at the till, I spoke to her and she informed me they had to be moved because people were stealing them, I did managed to purchase one. Shoplifting is a big problem ,I wonder how great a problem stealing is in our country?. In some Islamic countries people caught steal have hands cut off as a punishment, now I believe that this is cruel, but it makes me wonder if it was practised where we live, how many people would be walking about with no limbs?, not that I would want that.The word of God tells us we should not steal [Exodus 20 v15],in other words it is a sin, it takes many forms, Internet fraud, stealing from the vulnerable, the old and elderly, stealing from employers. Stealing is wrong, but it is a reminder to us all that we as human beings are sinful fallen creatures, we all to some degree, steal from God, instead giving Him the glory we want the glory, and so we become thieves.
                                         A  prayer.
Dear God have mercy upon us thieves, preserve us from the sin of stealing be it another persons husband or wife, or whatever. Help us to see that it is not just an evil thing to do, but that it is a sinful thing , and like all sin it has dire consequences, in Jesus name Amen.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Sin has a price tag.[[Romans 6 v23 ]

Derek Tidball,writes what a famous manager said, his name was Bill Shankly,'' Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don't like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that''. As I have been studying the book of Leviticus, the seriousness of sin, is shown to be very important, and we must see this,as DT,writes ,''obedience to God is a life and death matter''. He further writes,'' Sin is not a neutral activity in which we can ever indulge Nonchalantly, it always entails a price....sin has a price tag''. In the book of Leviticus it is clearly spelt out what was required by God, it is summed up in one word obedience. Both in the ceremonial, and in the moral activities, if you disobeyed you would be judged, wrath would fall. God has not changed, He who is holy, He abhors sin, when we sin we are playing with fire, for God we are told is a consuming fire
[Deuteronomy 4 v24 ].In fact there are many places where God judges by fire, and indeed when Christ returns it will involve  a judgement of fire, CP
2 Peter 3 v 7-10,and in that final judgement, we read of death and Hades being thrown into the lake of fire.[Revelation 20v14 ] Many people in the
sexual area seek to rationalise what they are doing ,from a purely human point of view. Instead of realising it is how God views our actions. If you are doing this then beware, you are playing with fire,
                                         A prayer.
Dear God when we go our way, there is a cost, that  road leads to destruction, eternal separation from a holy God, today you would call us to forsake our sin, enter the narrow way, which begins at the cross of our Lord Jesus Amen.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Anger. [ Colossians 3 v 8 ]

I read this today,'' Anger doesn't help'', the fact is anger is often wrong, and very destructive. There was an old movie ,called,'' Look back in anger'',well
I can look back and see so many times I was angry. Now Jesus was angry, but it was righteous anger[CP Mark 3 v1-6],I wish I could say that the many times I have been angry was righteous anger, I get angry at some things, the
injustice that people perpetrate on others, the weak the vulnerable. I am not going to confess to you those outbursts of anger that I have shown, but I do know that often it was not right, and I had to seek forgiveness. In Ephesians
4 v26 -27,we read,'' In your anger do not sin, Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold''. Yes we all
feel anger at times,but the danger is, where will it lead us?, and our enemy can use it to cause us much harm. Many people are doing many things ,
wrong things, because they are not only angry, but out of control. Out of control anger can easily destroy, can easily ruin us, If we are prone to angry outbursts, and out of control,then we must seek God to help us, to change,
for the truth is ,anger doesn't help.
                                         A  prayer.
Dear Lord help us as regards our anger, help us not to make excuses, but to face up to the wrong, that comes from our anger, and grant us grace to repent, grace to change and be like our Saviour, who when they hurled insults at Him, He did not retaliate,when He suffered, He made no threats
Instead  He intrusted Himself to Him that judges justly,Amen

Monday, 9 January 2017

It is impossible.[ Matthew 16 v 18]

I recently saw a movie called ,''Silence'', I did not realise what it was about,
but when I viewed it, I discovered it was about a moment in time when Christianity  was introduced into Japan. Many professed to be Christians. But the powers that be ,sought to eradicate it, which to some extent they did, with much cruelty. I was sharing this with one of my sons, and he said that their is a museum in Japan, which has a collection of  Samurai swords,
it was discovered that a number of them had, Christian symbols on them. It
reminded me of the times that Elijah the prophet lived, when a weak king
reigned, who had a wife called Jezebel. She was a heathen ,did not believe in Israels God. Not only did she not believe in God, she had many of Gods servants killed. The situation was so bad that Elijah the prophet thought that he was the only one left.[ 1Kings 19v10],but it was not so, God told him that there were seven thousand who were still faithful followers of God.[  v18 ] The history of Gods church ,from beginning to this present time, has been that of persecution, but no matter how the powers that be, try as they may, they will never be able to eradicate Christs Church.
                                        A prayer.
Dear God we bring before You, those countries where persecution of your people is taking place. Help your dear people not to despair, to be faithful
yes even unto death, in Jesus our Saviours name we ask this Amen.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Punishing evil.. [ Luke 23 v 39-43 ]

Let us continue to look at the subject, of God punishing evil, we highlighted
 the Israelites actions towards the inhabitants of the promise land. God used
Israel as His instrument to bring His judgment on those inhabitants. He uses
whatever He wants as His instrument, to punishment, whoever He wills. He used water, fire, sickness, and people to bring judgment upon those whom he wills. It appears that judgement can be avoided if only people genuinely
repent and seek His forgiveness,[ Jonah 3 v10].The case of King Manasseh
is a wonderful example of a very ,very wicked king, whom God dealt with, by having him taken captive, taken to Assyria with a ring in his nose, bound by bronze  chains. In his captivity he turned to God and humbled himself, the result God forgive him and restored him as King[ 2 chronicles 33 v1-17]
Yes God will punish sin, but He will also forgive the sinner, no matter how evil they have been ,if they but turn and seek forgiveness. We must never take forgiveness for granted, a man called Heinrich Heine said,'' God will forgive me, that's His business'', that is His business, but it must never be taken for granted, never. There must be a genuine seeking of God ,a godly repentence, we are not playing trivial pursuit.
                                           A  prayer.
Dear God we thank You that there is forgiveness when we ask Jesus, to save us ,when we sincerely, and humbly come to You Amen.
in Jesus name Amen

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Punishing evil. [ Romans 1v18 ]

Is it wrong to punish wrong doers?, most of us would agree that wrong doers deserve punishment, that is why we have prison's.  Now another question do you  think it is wrong for God to punish people because of their sin?. Well it appears He does, He destroyed the ancient world by sending a massive flood.[  Genesis 7/19 v12ff.  Acts 5 v1-11]Now there are those who have problems accepting, that God punishes sinners. I know there are those
who judge Israel for destroying the inhabitants of the promise land, we read about this in Joshua. They equate what they did as genocide , so they liken it unto Hitler and his destruction of Jews, or what happened in Rwanda. But
the fact is Israel acted on Gods command, it was not something they thought
up themselves .[CP Joshua 6 ]Why God had Israel destroy the inhabitants of
Canaan was a long delayed judgement foretold by God to Abraham [Genesis 15 v16].Many years would pass before this judgement would take place. Instead of repenting of their evil they grew more and more sinful. and so judgement fell.
                                       A  prayer.
Dear God forgive us for judging You and your righteous judgments in Jesus name Amen.

Friday, 6 January 2017

We have lost all these famous people. [Revelation 20 v11-15 ]

2016: The year we lost all these famous faces, so read the headlines in the newspaper  I was reading. Now of course the death of anyone is sad, but whither one is famous or not, death will eventually come. But after that the
judgement, on that day it will not matter whither one was famous or infamous, poor or rich. God is not swayed or even bothered that a person is
whatever. On that day the only thing that will matter, do we know Jesus as our Saviour and manifested that reality.There the empty profession will mean nothing, the I did it my way, will be seen for what it is, empty yes that sums it up empty. On that day those have been the worst of people, yet had sought Gods mercy, and been forgiven through Jesus, will be saved. Much to the surprise of the religious crowd, for lets be honest ,being religious can mean very little, no ,only those who have been brought ,into a right relationship,will be welcomed into Gods heaven. When one goes into a shop to purchase something they examine the money note you offer for payment , to see if it genuine or counterfeit, so it is on that  day, the genuine and the counterfeit will be separated by Jesus. That is why it is so important to be ready, for that time when we will die, for the fact is we are all going to die.

                         Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
                         Jesus I come, Jesus, I come.
                         into Thy freedom, gladness and light ,
                         Jesus I come to Thee.
                         Out of my sickness into Thy  health,
                         Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
                         Out of my sin and into Thyself,
                         Jesus I come to Thee.

                         Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
                         Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come.
                         Into the joy and light of Thy home,
                         Jesus, I come to Thee.
                         Out of the depths of ruin untold,
                         into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
                         Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
                         Jesus ,I come to Thee.
                          [Words --W.T.Sleeper]

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Children [1 Corinthians 1 v 18- 31 ]

Derek Tidball,writing about children in his book on Leviticus, points out that,'' Jesus  gave time to children in a way that would have been unheard of
among Rabbis, and treated them with an unprecedented respect. C.P.  Matthew 19v13-15/Mark 10 v13-16/Luke 18 v15-17 .The statement that the
Kingdom of God belongs to such as these, has nothing to do with sentimental views about the innocence or trustfulness of children It means that the Kingdom of God is open to nobodies and nonentities, which is how
children were viewed in Jesus day .'' I am sure that is one way of looking at it, it is not a new thing, we all have heard the saying as regards children, that they should be seen but not heard. Of course in a world were many people are treated as nobodies, nonentities, this explanation is  wonderful. So many people throughout history have been classed as such, when slavery was practiced, slaves  would generally thought of as a thing with no writes, they were nobodies. Even today Islam treats women as nobodies, the Hindu religion treat certain people as untouchable,in many parts of the world
those who have leprosy are seen as the lowest of the low. I praise God that in His eyes all humanity is precious, no one need feel excluded. We are told ''God chooses the foolish things of the world, the weak, the lowly, the despised[1 Corinthians 1 v 27-28]
                                             A  prayer.
Dear Lord we thank you that You love the whosoever, yes even nobodies

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

What chaos is coming? [ Isaiah 65 v 17 / Revelation 21 v 5 ]

In Shakespeare's Othello,we read; 'Chaos is come again'', these words are so meaningful. When God had created this world we  read,''God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.''[Genesis 1 v31]Here these ancient words, uttered by God, all that He made was good, and in that good world ,
there was no chaos, no war ,no conflict, everything was harmonious. But then sin entered this universe and things change, disharmony reigned, which brought in uncertainty. We skip forward to Genesis 6 v 5 ,and we read,'' The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had  become''. And so it is, all things had changed, for the coming in of sin, brought into this world
that which not good. There is no certainty of peace anywhere, the war to end all wars , did nothing of the sort, it only laid the foundation for more wars. We see awful things happening in this world, the natural creation
can suddenly erupt in earthquakes ,and all such natural happens. We do not need to be reminded of what takes place on the human side,and in all this
we ask with apprehension, what chaos is coming next?, for we do not know.
Although all this true, our Saviour told us, ''Do not be frightened''[Luke 2v9]
                               God is our refuge and strength,
                               an ever present help in trouble.
                               Therefore we will not fear,
                               though the earth give way
                               and the mountains fall into
                               the heart of the sea
                              though its waters roar, and foam
                              and the mountains quake with
                              their surging.
                                     [Psalm 46 v 1-3 ]


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

He is for us . [Romans 8 v 28 -32 ]

A  Christian couple were supporting their son and his wife, they where
having difficulties in their marriage, They were leaving them to go home,
and the father said this to them, remember we are for you, but more important  remember ,God is for you. The word of God tells us that if God is for us who can be against us,[Romans 8v31].If you are a Christian ,God is for you, to help you ,to face whatever difficulties, you are facing. He is there to bring good to you out every situation, you are in. Yes He will use whatever means, to help you, he used ravens to feed a prophet [1 Kings 17v4],He used a child's lunch to feed 5.000,[ John 6].This God is your God He changes not, as He was, so He will be,[Malachi 3 v6 ]We must always have double vision, we look out and and we face reality, the difficulties are
real,but we do not stay focused on them, we must look up, to our God who is for us. When Elisha the prophet and his servant were in great danger, the servant despaired, he asked Elisha, ''Oh my lord, what shall we do?, the prophet replied,' 'Don't be afraid, those who are with us are more than those
who are with them''. Elisha then prayed for his servant, that the Lord would open his eyes. The Lord did this, and the servant saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire, ''[2 Kings 6 v15-17]
                                    A prayer
Father in heaven we praise you that we your children are not alone, nor ever will  be, you have promised that you are with us and for us, with that assurance help us to go for into the future with confidence in you, with trust in you, in our Saviours name we ask this. Amen.