verse of the day

Friday, 30 June 2017

If. [ Matthew 26 v 39- 42 ]

I visited a Christian ministry a number of years ago, they had a book where they recorded prayer requests on one page, and on the other page the answers. Now contrary to what some people think it is not wrong to ask God for our needs or whatever. Jesus said ask and you shall receive, but let us always try and remember, that our requests if they are to be answered,
they should be in accordance with Gods will. Consider the following, ' This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will he hears us.'[ 1 John 5v14]Likewise we are told, 'If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.'[Psalm 66 v18].These are two important aspects in relation to prayer, that we need to remember, these words are not meant to discourage us in our asking. I spoke to a person recently who had experienced a disappointment, yes she had and others had prayed believing it was Gods will, but it did not happen.
I reminded the person how Gods no, is just as important as Gods yes. So it will always be, and instead of resentment building up, the proper response should be ,you will be done Lord.

                                      Ill that He blesses is our good
                                      And unblest good is ill;
                                      And all is right that seems most wrong,
                                      If it be His sweet will.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Are you weary? [ Matthew 11 v28-29]

I have just come in from my daily walk, and I do feel a bit weary, it reminds me of when I attended Bible college. I used to cycle there each day, when I arrived there in the morning I sink into a chair as we gathered for a time of devotion, wacked out, and the words of a hymn came to mind, 'oh to lie for
ever here'. There is a lot of energy in the world, but one senses a great deal  of weariness ,the news adds to it, the suffering of so many weary us. Bringing up a family wearies us,  so I could go, but I wont, I do not want to weary you anymore.

                          Is your burden heavy as you bear it all alone?
                          Does the road you travel harbour danger yet unknown?
                          Are you growing weary in the struggle of it all?
                          Jesus will help you when on His name you call.

                          He is always there ,hearing every prayer,
                          faithful and true;
                          Walking by our side, in His love we hide,
                          all the day through.
                          When you get discouraged just remember
                          what to do,
                          Reach out to Jesus, He's reaching out to you.

                          Is the life you're living, filled with sorrow and despair?
                          Does the future press you with its worry and its care?
                          Are you tired and friendless, have you almost lost your way
                          Jesus will help you, when on His name  you call.
                                       [Words R. Carmichael ]

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

I remember. [Psalm 121]

My wife purchased a steam map, it was made by a company called Goblin,
to my wife it  was just a steam map, to me it was much more,  over forty years ago I worked for this company. Memories came flooding back,of the many people I worked with, it was during my time there that I came back to the Lord, it was during my time there I got married. During my time there I felt the call of God on my life, and left to go to Bible college. I could write so much more about my time working for that company, it was truly significant in my life. I looked at the box the mop came in, and I discovered that the map had been made in China. When I worked there they had two factories in the UK, now it appears they are gone. In forty years so much has changed, the UK has changed, the world has changed in so many ways.
But as a Christian I rest not on the changing things of this world but in my unchanging God. He changes not,[Malachi3 v6].As a Christian I rest on God whose love for all his children will never change[Jeremiah 31 v3 ].
His care for His children will not change[Philippians 4 v19/Psalm23].His
power has not change, power to save, power to keep, power to do exceedingly abundantly above all that ask or think[Ephesians 3 v20].His
faithfulness will never change [ Jeremiah 3 v22-23],He will never leave
His children or forsake them[Hebrews 13 v5]

                               Great is Thy faithfulness,
                               Great is Thy faithfulness,
                               Morning by morning new mercies I see;
                               All I have needed Thy hand has provided,
                               Great is Thy faithfulness , Lord unto me.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Aliens [Ephesians 2 ]

A friend of told me that his family was threatened with excommunication if they did not put him out of their home, the reason being, he had left that particular church. For many years he had no assurance of his sins being forgiven, even though he went through all the rigmarole demanded of him by the church he belonged to. Everything changed when a young Christian spoke to him about being saved, he shortly after this came to an assurance of sins forgiven, when he wholly trusted Jesus to be his Saviour. In Ephesians 2 v 1ff. we have described the condition of people before they
Christians, I highlight portions from that passage,'' Dead in ..transgressions and sins/followers of the ways of the world, and of the ruler of kingdom of the air/  disobedient/ gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature/objects of wrath./without hope and without God in the world. It  is H. Moule who describes us as excommunicated aliens, and of course it shows, we are cut  of from God, until like my friend, we  put our faith in Jesus, then all will be changed. Then we will be no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with Gods people and members of God's household[1 v19 ]

                                         A  prayer
Dear God it is amazing but true that through Christ we need no longer be an alien, thank you .Amen.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Oppressive religion.[ Nehemiah 8 v10]

I read an article of a lady who was brought up in a stately home in Derry, or London Derry, whatever you prefer, 'mainly by Presbyterian staff who taught her, if you enjoy yourself, you will pay for it later'. It reminds me of a story I read once of a young minister in Scotland, where they held very strict rules on the Sabbath. The manse was situated beside a lake, the church was on the other side of the lake. It was the Sabbath, and as he started to make his way around the lake but the road was blocked. What was he to do?, duty called, so he got into a boat rowed across the lake, and took the service. Well the local elders heard about his rowing across the lake on the
Sabbath, so they called on the local minister to reprimand him. Well said the young minister, what was I to do, I had to take the service. The elders
thought on this for a while, and then one asked did you enjoy it?. Both these
little stories make me smile, and yet there is a serious side to them,maybe
that's the point, they are to serious. The people our dear Saviour dealt with
took out all the joy out of the Jewish religion, and woe betide you if you crossed the line of their oppressive rules and regulations.
                                    A prayer
Dear God and Father, we know that life is serious, but we do not believe
that our Saviour came to burden us with a life that is oppressive, help us to laugh occasionally, and to enjoy it,fill our hearts with your joy in Jesus name Amen.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Not with God [ Luke 1 v26-38 ]

There is an old song with the words,'' It's impossible '',running through it,yes we cant stop a baby from crying, it's impossible, yes we cant stop the ocean from rushing to the shore, it's impossible. There was a young girl who had a visit from an angel, he told her something that was impossible, she was going to have a baby. Well to her it appeared impossible, for she was a virgin, the angel explained to how it would come about, the last thing he said to her was.
                             ''That nothing is impossible with God''.

When it is in keeping with Gods will, the impossible can happen, needs can be met, healing can take place, doors of opportunity can open. Yes He can make a way where there  appears no way. You may be thinking that you are useless and fit for nothing, ignore ,reject such thoughts,for Gods ways go beyond our ways, He can lift you out of the dung hill and place you on a throne[ Psalm 113v7-8],for remember nothing is impossible with God.

                                              A  prayer.
Dear God help us to look beyond our difficulties, remind us Lord that with you nothing is impossible ,in Jesus name we ask this Amen.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The gift of reading. [ 2 Timothy 3 v 15- 17 ]

We were on a journey to visit our youngest boy, his wife and child, I was driving, I felt tired, so we pulled into a service station for a break, I had a coffee, and went to one the stores, that sold sweets, news papers, books etc.
I was looking at the shelves full of magazines, and I made a discovery,a
magazine called ,' The Oldie', it does not take much thought to realise it is a magazine aimed at ,yes you guessed, for my age group, so I bought one. It is full of many short articles by well known people, I suppose they are short
because of  my fellow oldies short attention span, I joke, but I did find it a jolly good read. Now about that attention span, it is something a preacher should always take into  account, but unfortunately some don't. Most of my reading is in short burst, I get tired unless the book is very interesting. I am always reading something, I have  a kindle, plus a number of books. I read the Bible every day ,I love short devotionals, I read four. I never did like school, but I will always be glad that I learnt to read, it opened up a whole new world for me. I read because I enjoy it, as a Christian, I love the Bible
I love to read it, and I desire more and more to understand it, I honour  it as
being Gods word , as opposed to my other books. I read today of a man who
had to wait 65years before he got a bible, I am sure he would tell you and  I, that it was worth the wait, for you see as the little chorus goes,' the best book to read is the Bible'.

                                         A prayer
Dear God thank you for the gift of reading, we thank you for the world of books, especially for the Bible, the best book of all. Amen.


Friday, 23 June 2017

No judgement will fall.[ 1 Peter 1 v 18-19]

I read this by J. Stott,'' The death of Jesus Christ was primarily, neither a display of love, nor an example of heroism, but a sacrifice for sin''. That is what Paul wrote in Galations1  v3-4. ''The Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins''. This was forecast by the prophets, especially Isaiah 53,there it seen as a sin offering and the only offering, that could deal with sin. Galatians 3 v 13 read's ,''Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree''.[ CP Deuteronomy21 v23] The cross is seen symbolically as a tree, through His death  J . Stott writes,'' Christ Jesus actually became a curse for us. He bore in His righteous person the curse or judgement which our sins deserved'' The result of this is, when we trust Jesus as our Saviour, we are saved from wrath to come[ 1 Thessalonians 2 v16]because Christ on the cross bore it. we do not. The Jews to this day keep a festival each year called the Passover, it reminds them of a time, when the Lord delivered the nation from slavery in Egypt. Pharaoh refused to obey the voice of God, so God sent ten plagues, the last one was a plague of death when all the first born in Egypt would die, that included Israel. But God told them that nothing would happen if they killed a lamb and put its blood on the sides, and tops of the door frames. When the Lord passed through the land , He saw the blood ,no judgement would fall on that household .A picture of salvation, Christ the lamb of God shed His precious blood, through that shed blood, we are saved, cleansed from our sin, no judgement will fall.

                                            A  prayer.
Dear God thanks for Jesus your son who died for sinful humanity, we rejoice that all who trust Him are no longer facing eternal judgement Amen.


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Courage [ Romans 8 v 37]

Let us continue to consider the importance of courage, it is important because that is what we will need .The pilgrim fathers left England to live in what we now call America, that took courage, so often Christians have gone to places of danger, that took courage. A minister I know accused his church of not having courage, I feel he spoke unadvisedly, we must be careful in passing judgement on others. Yet for all that ,we need a degree of courage to be a Christian, in a time when Christians, are trying to persuade
themselves and the world that they are not different, the fact is we are different. The words of  Romans 12v2 come to mind,'' Do not any conform
any longer to the pattern of this world''.  That will take courage for our children at school, for  all of us who are Christians. Daily I pray for Christians who are facing discrimination ,intimidation, they need courage .
In the movie ,''The wizard of Oz,'' Dorthy had three friends, a  scarecrow,a
tin man, and a lion, they all lacked something. A  brain, a heart, and courage. So they went down that yellow brick road to see the great wizard.
Now we all have a brain and a heart, but many of us do not have courage. I believe that the secret of having courage, is trust, in God and His word, I leave the following word with you, it was spoken to a new leader, Joshua, he succeeded Moses. He was going to lead the people, into the promised land a land with formidable foes, so here is what he was told.

                             ''Have I not commanded you?
                              Be strong and courageous.
                              Do not be terrified,
                              do not be discouraged,
                              for the Lord your God
                              will be with you wherever
                              you go''
                                 [Joshua 1 v  9]

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Bullying [ Joshua 1 v9 ]

While watching an old war movie, one  of the characters, confesses to being a coward, none of us would to think of  ourselves as being a coward. Recently a Pastor spoke of some members of his church as lacking in courage. The apostles lacked courage the night Christ was arrested, especially Peter. ,in given situations ,lets be truthful to ourselves, we do not know how we act if we were in their shoes. Often the price of being courageous is costly, it does not have to be in  a war zone. There are many dear children who courageously face bullying in their school, likewise, there are people who courageously,face a bullying boss. Bullying in the home, by husbands, or even wives, they need courage, to face this sinful practise. And sometimes they need to walk away, we are not meant to be any bodies punch bag, be it physically, or mentally . It takes courage to follow Jesus, many ,many dear people take their lives in their hands, by declaring they are followers of Jesus. Today let us lift up our hearts in prayer against this sin of bullying, wherever it is manifest.

                                            A  prayer.

Dear God you know the evil of bullying, help all those who are experiencing  it ,in Jesus name we ask this, Amen.


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Still standing. [ Acts 7 v 56 ]

While on my daily walk , I spoke to a fellow walker, I asked him how he was?, he replied that he was recovering from four strokes and a heart attack.
Well I said to him you are still standing, and he agreed, then he went his way and I went my way. Yes he was still standing after all he experienced, of course life will throw a lot of things at us, even though we are Christians.
One cannot help admire those who are still standing, in spite of all the trials and difficulties they experience. We know more about the apostle Paul than
any other of the apostles, prison, floggings, shipwrecked three times, danger
from so many people, experienced hunger and thirst, and nakedness,2 Corinthians [11v23ff],inspite of this he was still standing. .Then my mind turned to our Saviour, consider all He experienced, consider how Satan used one his our Lords disciples to betray him. and how men did their worse to him, and his disciples forsook him. Pilate had him flogged, and the Jews had him crucified, but on the third day He was still standing, triumphant, and victorious.

                                           A  prayer
Dear Lord we ask for grace to remain standing irrespective of my circumstances, trials, temptations, or hardships Amen

Monday, 19 June 2017

The cross. [ Galations 6 v 14 ]

                                            The  cross.

                                Beneath the cross of Jesus
                                I fain would take my stand
                                The shadow of a mighty Rock,
                                Within a weary land;
                                A home within the wilderness,
                                A rest upon the way,
                                From the burning of the noontide heat,
                                And the burden of the day

                                O safe and happy shelter,
                                O refuge tried and sweet,
                                O trysting-place where heaven's love
                                And heaven's justice meet.
                                As to the holy patriarch
                                That wondrous dream was given,
                                So seems my Saviour's cross to me,
                                 A ladder up to heaven.

                                There lies ,beneath its shadow,
                                But on the farther side,
                                The darkness of an awful grave
                                That gapes both deep and wide;
                                And there between us stands the cross,
                                Two arms outstretched to save;
                                Like a watchman set to guard the way
                                From that eternal grave.

                               Upon that cross of Jesus,
                               Mine eyes at times can see
                               The very dying form of One
                               Who suffered there for me;
                               And from my smitten heart with tears,
                               Two wonders I confess-
                               The wonders of His glorious love,
                                And my own worthlessness.

                               I take, O cross, the shadow
                               For my abiding place,
                               I ask no other sunshine than
                               The sunshine of His face;
                               Content to let the world go by,
                               To know no gain nor loss-
                                My sinful self my only shame,
                                My glory all the Cross.

                              [Words .  E.C,Clephane ]



Friday, 16 June 2017

You will fall into error if. [ 2 Timothy 3 v 14-17 ]

When the religious Sadducees asked Jesus a question as regards the custom that required a near  relative to marry a widowed sister-in -law, the so called
Levirite law[ Deuteronomy 25v5],so that that family line would not cease.
The Sadducees made something up that the widow woman's husband kept dying ,each time , in fact she married seven near relatives, and then she died. They then asked a question to Jesus, whose wife should she be?. The
point is the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, they were trying to cause Jesus to slip up. It was a tricky question, so here is what he said first, they were in error, because they did not know the scriptures, nor the power of God, consider how many people are in error in the world because they do not know the scriptures, and let me remind you there is only book that can be called the scriptures. These Sadducees only believed the first five books of  the scriptures, that was their choice, the fact is we cannot pick and choose, what scriptures to believe, and what not to believe. If we do then we will fall into error, we are told that the holy Scriptures can make us wise unto salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ. Also that all Scripture is God breathed or inspired by God, showing us truth, exposing our rebellion,
correcting our mistakes, training us to live in Gods way. [2 Timothy 3v15-16].
                                           A  prayer.
Dear God help to treasure all of your word, and not to be selective, so that do not fall into error, in Jesus name we ask this Amen.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Mercy triumphs over justice [ 1 Peter 3 v 18]

In John 8 v 1-12,we read how a woman is brought before Jesus by the religious leaders, she had been caught in the very act of adultery. Now adultery is a sin[ Exodus20 v14]and the penalty for such a sin was death,[Lev 20v10],but it is stipulated that both the adulterer and the adulteress, this question is, where was the adulterer?. This is ignored by our Saviour, unlike the authorities who were as, D.A. Carson, points out, they
were less interested in ensuring that evenhanded justice be meted out, than
in hoisting Jesus unto the horns of a dilemma.[v8]When it came to justice
it appears that the means justified the end, after all the trial of Jesus was a sham, and it is to Pilates shame that he allowed Jesus to be crucified, believing him to be Innocent.[ Luke 23 v13 ].One can picture the scene, this was taking place in a very public, the crowds were looking on, wondering
what is going to happen, The accusers were hoping that they had Jesus at last, the woman was waiting for the dread sentence to fall. Then Jesus
straight en's up and speaks,'' He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her''. The result was the woman's accusers ,slipped away one by one, after all, even they knew that only  God is without sin.The
lady escapes justice because of Jesus, we are all sinners, and the only way
any of us will escape the judgement of God is by trusting Jesus.

                                          A  prayer.
Dear God we are utterly amazed at your mercy to sinners,through Jesus your Son Amen.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Limatations [ Mark 11 v22 ]

I read the following,'' Do what you can with what you have and leave the results to God''. I think these words are very important. Consider the words,
'do what you can', we may think there is nothing we can,as regards so many things. That is not true, there is something we can all do, and should do, pray. Prayer is the most vital thing we can do, we must never underestimate its importance. Consider what our Saviour had to say about prayer, and how He prayed, prayer is never a waste of time. Next do what you can, with what you have. Five thousand plus, hungry people needed to be fed, but all they had  was a little boys lunch, five small barley loaves,and two small fish[John 6v9].That is were Andrew stopped, how can that feed five thousand, plus?well he handed the lunch to Jesus, and in Jesus hands, the multitude was fed. You may be looking at your limitations, your limited resources,
the lesson we learn from this account is, God can bless the little we have ,if
we place it in Jesus hands, and trust Him ,remember He is not limited.

                                          A prayer.
Dear God help us to do what we can, to give what we can, to place every-
thing in your hands, and to trust you to bless, in Jesus name we ask this Amen.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

All things new. [Revelation 21 v1-5 ]

Pray for Paul, now I am not referring to the apostle Paul, but to someone I met out walking, he was using a walker , a three wheeled one. As I drew up to I drew up to him, I wished him good morning, and asked how he was keeping, he told me he had suffered a stroke. One way it had effected him was his taste buds, in other words everything was just food, no taste to it. He lives on his own, he did not look very happy. The good think was I managed to speak a word of witness to him, so  that's why I want you to pray for Paul, pray that the Lord will save him. We are all without exception going to experience a deterioration, if its not our body, it could be our mind
But I told Paul that as Christian there is coming a time when we will receive
a new body, that will never deteriorate, yes the future is bright for the child of God ,on that day there will be no walking frames, no hearing aids, no pace makers, no lonliness ,Jesus declares,'' I am making everything new''[Revelation 21 v5 ],

                                                A  prayer.
Dear Saviour thank You for the blessed hope, that awaits all who believe in
You, Amen.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Gifts [ Romans 12 v 1-8 ]

There are just some things one is not good at, and that's a fact, when I was younger I used to play different sports, but I was never great at them. Still it
is important to get involved, for a number of reasons, social ,keeping fit, or just for fun. Well what about our spiritual gifts, we are not all gifted,in the same way,I used to sing ,and sometimes a person  would say I wish I could sing like you, I thought it a bit amusing when a woman would say that to me. The thing is, we all have gifts, in Romans 12 we have the following gifts, J . Stott, divides them into two categories, speaking gifts, and serving gifts. Now I know there are other gifts mentioned in  1Corithians12,these can be controversial, but they are there. Also we have gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4,now whatever you think of the gifts ,they have been given for the good of Gods people. I believe God has granted to all of His children's ,
gifts, which we are meant to exercise, so let us do that. let us not get carried away, or puffed up as regards whatever gift God has given us, as John Stott puts it ,to think soberly about our gifts, according to the grace given us.

                                           A prayer.
Dear God we thank You for the gift of eternal life through Jesus, and we thank You for the gifts granted unto your people, by the Holy Spirit,  in
Jesus name Amen.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Signs and wonders [ Mark 8 v21 ]

Donald English writing of the disciples and the occasion when Jesus told them to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod[Mark 8 v15].Yeast is usually seen as an image for that which is evil  [Lev 2v11;1 Cor 5 v6-8;Gal5v 9]Donald English writes that Jesus is warning them against falling into the Pharisees' mistake of needing incontrovertible proof about who he was[Mk8v1],or of Herod in refusing to follow the light he had
and authorizing the death of John the Baptist [Mk 6 v14-29 ].I remember a
person who I worked with saying that she had asked Jesus to be her Saviour, but nothing happened, no tingling feeling down her back, so that was that, nothing had happening. The disciples only thought Jesus was talking about bread for their next meal. D E, writes,'' the disciples have not yet got their eyes off ground level. The one group is demanding far too  much; the other expecting too little''. A life or faith based on signs and wonders will surely be disappointed, I am not ruling these out, but, I know our call to follow Jesus is one of faith in Him,  not in signs and wonders,

                                          A  prayer.
Dear Saviour help us to look to you alone ,not in signs and wonder ,or even feelings Amen.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Kindness[ Galatians 5 v 22 ]

Many years ago I was told someone said something about me that was unkind, and it stuck with me, and hurt me deeply. But the person lives in
Ireland so it made it difficult to resolve it, I have prayed about, but it keeps rearing its ugly head. Then I read something written by Selwyn  Hughes
on kindness, a quality within the fruit of Spirit. He wrote'' The interesting thing about kindness is that we remember an act of kindness when all other
events have been forgotten''. Which takes me back to the person who
supposedly said something hurtful about me. I have mentioned before that there was a time when my wife and I lived by faith. It was a testing experience, we just about got through but it was not easy, we had three
children. One evening the person called at my home and gave me a gift,
which helped us. Remembering that kindness lessened the hurt I was feeling, yes we do remember the kindness shown to us, when all other events have been forgotten. So today let us show a little kindness to someone, they may remember that more than any sermon we have ever
preached, or they just might remember.

                                      A prayer.
Dear God help us to be kind ,after all ,you are the most kind person one could think off, in Jesus name Amen

Friday, 9 June 2017

Do you love me more?. [Matthew 16 v24-25 ]

A dear friend told me of his early Christian experience, how when he told his parents, he had trusted Jesus, they became very antagonistic. They had a
very bad opinion of  Christians, believed them to be all hypocrites. And so started a time severe testing for my friend, as they tried with all their means
for him to give up being a Christian, and this increased when he told them he was going to be baptised, the result was he became homeless for short time. My friend got married to a fine Christian, he went to Bible college, and became a minister. When his parents became old things changed, his mothers attitude softened, and he managed to gave her a Bible. His dad became very ill, and he was able to witness to him,and just before he died, my friend prayed a simple prayer of salvation, and his father became a Christian.While we are to honour our parents, we must honour God first, and while we are to love our parents ,we are to love Christ more.The devil can use our nearest and dearest to turn us away from being a Christian. Even our Lords family thought He was out of His mind[Mark 3 v21 ],the people he had grown up with ,were offended at Him[Mark 6 v3]. Peter rebuked Him for revealing that He was going to suffer and die [Matthew 16 v21-23 ].And of course the religious establishment ,hated Him and crucified Him.

                                       A  prayer
Dear Lord help those who are suffering for your sake, grant unto them the
grace to not give up. Amen

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Be honest. [Galatians 5 v22-23 ]

In one of my devotional reading, the writer is ministering on the fruit of the Spirit, there are five qualities ,they are, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.[Galations5 v 22-23 ]
It is Selwyn Hughes who writes'' Most of us[myself included] might
acknowledge that a few of these qualities are operational in our lives.........
To have some without the others is to be a lopsided Christian''. Well join the club, I am afraid that I am a lopsided Christian, it is important to be honest with ourselves, and with God. Honesty is not only the best policy ,for the Christian, it must be the only policy. If we are addicted to some sin ,some habit, some characteristic, that is controlling us,affecting our well being,
affecting our relations with others, and especially with God, then it is time,
 to stop making excuses, stop thinking of self, be honest  ,go look in the mirror, and see beyond the outward, yes I am talking to us ,who are Christians, for we are good at putting on a show.Let us look at the characteristics, of the fruit of the Spirit ,and let us stop fooling around. A great saint prayed, 'make me as holy as saved sinner can be'.

                                         A prayer.
Dear God we thank You for saving us, yes we are sinners saved by your
grace, but Lord we want to progress in our relationship with You, so help us to be honest before You, perfect that which concerns us, that we might be more like our Saviour in His name we ask this Amen.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Perfection [ Philippians 3 v12-14 ]

There are people and they are perfectionist, their gardens must be perfect,
their homes must be perfect, and so on. I do not know how far they may take it, I do try to do my best, I have in my time had to do the decorating in my home, I am not to bad at painting but not at wallpapering, I am not the perfect driver, indeed let me think about it, I am not perfect at  anything. I have just started playing indoor bowls, and I am useless at it, no, perfection does not run in my genes. Now I am Christian a long time so I should be  perfect, always loving, always holy, but of course I am not.'' Selwyn Hughes wrote'', A truly Spirit- filled Christian demonstrates in a balanced way the qualities of  love, joy .peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self control. These are the fruit of the Spirit, [Galatians 5 v22-23 ] I hear myself saying,if only that were true in my case. It is our Saviour who said,  ''Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect''[Matthew 5 v48].This is an exhortation, and must be taken seriously, even though we will never attain this perfection till we get to Heaven,There should be a hungering and thirst after righteousness,  striving after that godly perfection. Martyn Lloyd Jones , He writes that there should be a certain likeness of our Heavenly in all His children. It is in that striving after holiness  ,that prayerful crying unto God our father, to do His perfect will.
                                     A  Prayer.
Dear God grant unto us all that desire to be holy as you are holy in Jesus name Amen]

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

He has made all the difference. [ Psalm 23 ]

I was out shopping, and a young fellow on  the till spoke to me, his face was familiar, it turned out he had for a while attended the church I attend. But alas he was not attending any church at this time, not sure why, but he did mention problems. I found myself  saying,'' Better to have Christ with you, and to not have Him,'' The fact is being a Christian, does not mean ,you will not have problems, the nature of life, involves problems, none of us can escape this reality. Just read the Bible and you find many followers of God
facing sorrow and tears, loss and injustice. But what they did have ,was the presence of Christ with them, and that makes all the difference. In other words we face no problems on our own, his abiding presence, His comfort,
His resources, His peace, His grace, are working for our good .His Spirit
will enable us to cope, and irrespective of the problems He loves us, and will continue to love us. He will remind us that there is a better day coming
that perfect day ,in which we will never have any problems, worries and cares.
                                      A prayer.
Dear Lord we thank you for being our Saviour,Lord, and Friend, we could never have managed without you, you have made all the difference. Amen

Monday, 5 June 2017

Need a soul doctor ?. [ Isaiah 53 v 4-5 ]

When it comes to the human condition spiritually, it can be seen as being  sick. It  is the prophet Isaiah who gives a graphic description of the nation of Israls as being dire, here is what he said, chapter 1 v5-6.
                               Your whole head is injured
                                and you whole heart afflicted
                                From the sole of your foot
                                to the top of your head
                                there is no soundness
                                only wounds and welts,
                                 and open sores,
                                 Not cleansed or bandaged
                                  or soothed with oil.
Jeremiah describes man's heart as being ,deceitful above all things, and beyond cure.[17 v9]. We hear the phrase ,''He/ She, is sick, to describe a person who commits awful things Our Saviour spoke of the religious leaders as being blind, [Matthew 15 v14]. There is an old phrase comes to mind, that sums up humanity's, condition ,that of being a sin sick soul . Now no earthly physician can deal with that sickness, of course people do not appreciate their awful condition spiritually . But when they do there is only one who can heal, the sin sick soul, that is Jesus. It is interesting the account of the lady healed in Mark 5,the word healed in v23,could also mean be saved. Likewise in verse 27 the lady,'' if I just touch his clothes[Jesus],I will be healed, can mean ,'' I will be saved''. So in the words of an old hymn, reach out to Jesus and He will, ''Heal your wounded broken spirit''.
                                     A  prayer.
Dear Lord Jesus we thank you ,that you are the only one that can heal and save our sin sick souls, Amen.



Sunday, 4 June 2017

Still my heart has Thee. [ 1 Samuel 30 v 6]

Just a follow on from yesterdays reading as regards the disciples in the storm with Jesus in Mark 4 v35-41,and further comment by Donald English.
''At the personal level there is a deep lesson to be learned from the stilling of the storm incident. For the disciples it should be enough to be with the Lord, whither life's seas are running smoothly or not. Forms of Christianity which encourage and promise a life of continual success, excitement and growth
will not only lead to frustration and despair; they actually point the disciple
towards the wrong goal in the Christian pilgrimage. It is enough that Christ
goes with us on our journey. We do not judge his care for us, nor the state of our discipleship, by the roughness of the seas over which we sail.' We rejoice in the Lord', not in our current circumstances, as Paul made clear to the Philippians [ Phil 3v 1 ]

                       When from my life the old time joys have vanished
                       Treasures once mine , I may no longer claim,
                       This truth may feed my hungry heart, and famished;
                       Lord ,You Remain Here, You are still the same.

                       When streams have dried, those streams of glad refreshing-
                       Friendships so blest, so free;
                       When  sun-kissed skies give place to clouds depressing,
                       Lord, You Remain Here, still my heart has Thee.

                       When strength has failed, and feet, now worn and weary,
                        On happy errands may no longer go,
                       Why should I sigh, or let the days be dreary?
                        Lord, You Remain Here, could you more bestow?

                       Thus through life's days-whoe'er or  what may fail me,
                        Friends, friendships, joys, in small or great degree
                       Songs may be mine, no sadness need assault me,
                        Lord, You Remain Here, Still my heart has Thee.
                                      [Words by J. Danson Smith ]


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Peace be still [ Mark 4 v35-41]

Writing on the calming of the storm in Mark 4v 35-41,Donald English writes the following, but let me remind you of the background,'' Jesus was in a boat, asleep when a severe storm arose ,those seasoned fishermen in the boat became very alarmed, went to Jesus and woke Hip up with the words,'' don't you care if we drown?' 'Jesus arose and stilled the storm, and challenged their lack of faith,  they were terrified at this, and wondered just who Jesus really was.'' D .E. writes,'' They needed him to do things; he wanted them to trust him. His very presence amongst them was all they needed to survive'' So let us put ourselves in the disciples situation, and ask the question, can we , are we prepared to trust Jesus in every circumstance,  are we going  panic or are we going to trust him?, what's our answer?

                             Master the tempest is raging,
                             The billows are tossing high,
                             The sky is o'ershadowed with blackness,
                             No shelter or help is nigh;
                             ''Carest Thou not that we perish?''
                             How canst Thou lie asleep,
                             When each moment so madly is threatening,
                             A  grave in the angry deep.

                             The wind and the waves shall obey My will,
                             Peace still.
                             Whither the wrath of the storm -tossed sea,
                             Or demons, or men, or whatever it be
                             No waters can swallow the ship where it lies
                             The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies,
                             They all shall sweetly obey My will;
                             Peace be still, Peace be still,
                             They all shall sweetly obey my will,
                             Peace ,peace , be still.
                              [Words .....Mary A Baker ]

Friday, 2 June 2017

Sealed [ Ephesians 1 v 13 ]

The late  Selwyn Hughes writing on the Holy Spirit, wrote the following,
''When we came to Christ, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit[ Ephesians 1 v13],sealing was a sign of ownership, he quotes John Stott, who calls this,'
The identity tag' of the Christian. This sealing as Dr Larry Crabb puts it,is an assurance of our safekeeping in Christ.We 're safe, not from bombs, cancer or family heartache, but from even an inch of separation from God who is in control of the Immanuel Agenda.'' Selwyn goes unto to write about Salvation in three tenses, past, present, and future. By His death Jesus has saved us from the penalty of sin.By His risen power and the energy of the Holy Spirit within our hearts He is saving us from the power of sin. And when  He returns in glory with all the Holy angels we will be saved from the presence of sin.''
                    [Most of this is from' Every day with Jesus 'a
                     daily devotion, written by Selwyn]

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Bad language. [Proverbs 12 v17-19]

While in a local park with some of my family, I observed a dispute, between
two mothers ,over what one of their children had done to another child,
when it was over, one the ladies began leaving the park. As she left, she
began swearing in the most awful manner at her child, the child responded
by swearing back, which caused the child's mother, to tell the child off. We used to call such profane words as ,''bad language'', it was seen as wrong, not everyone thinks that it is. Ephesians  4 v29, in the Message reads'' Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps ''.Our words should be a blessing, the words of that mother did not bless  anyone, It is in James  3 we read of the importance of
controlling the tongue, he is writing to Christians,yes  Christians, yes no gossip, lies, taking the Lords name in vain, hurtful or unkind words,should
pass from our lips. It was to that woman's shame that she spoke that way to her child, and it is to  our shame when as Christians we follow her example
in any way.

                                         A  prayer.
Dear God forgive us for speaking as the world speaks, help us to see that our words matter, to those around us and to you, in Jesus name Amen.