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Showing posts from April, 2015

A New Song

"Sing a new song to the Lord" (Psalm 98:1).
What is a new song? It's a song that wasn't there - until the Lord put it into our hearts. It's a song that's come to us from the Lord. We give back to Him what He has given to us.

Salvation

Isaiah 12:1-6
"God is my salvation ... He has become my salvation ... You will joyfully draw water from the springs of salvation" (Isaiah 12:2-3).
To understand the full meaning of salvation, we must look beyond Isaiah, the prophet, to Jesus, the Saviour. The prophets can take us so far - and no further. When they have said all that they have to say, there is more to be said and done. There is One who must come, after all the prophets have spoken all their words. There is Jesus, our Saviour. He is our Saviour. He becomes our Saviour. We drink His living water - His salvation.

Looking To The Lord, Learning From Him, Turning To Him, Travelling With Him

Isaiah 2:1-5
The Word of God encourages us to look beyond the here and now. It gives us a glimpse of "the last days" (Isaiah 2:2). God knows the end as well as the beginning - and He show it to us (Isaiah 2:2). We say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord ... He will teach us about His ways so that we may walk in His paths ... Come and let us walk in the Lord's light" (Isaiah 2:3,5). Our world would be a very different world if more people were looking to the Lord and learning from Him, turning to the Lord and travelling with Him. What about you? Are you looking to the Lord? Are you learning from Him? Are you turning to the Lord? Are you travelling with Him? These are the questions that the Word of God puts to every one of us. Will we give the answer of faith and obedience? I cannot answer this question for you. You cannot answer it for me. Each one of us must answer for ourselves. What will your answer be?

Help us, Lord, to remember that there is one treasure which lasts forever – the treasure of salvation.

Proverbs 31:1-31
‘A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies… Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised’ (Proverbs 31:10,30). Lord, You’re calling us to seek ‘treasures in heaven’ rather than ‘treasures on earth’ (Matthew 6:19-21). You’re showing us that the riches of this world will not last for ever: ‘All your riches and splendour have vanished, never to be recovered… “Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!”’ Help us to remember that there is one treasure which lasts forever – the treasure of salvation. As we think of the eternal treasure of Your salvation, may we grow stronger, may our hearts be filled with praise for our Saviour: ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and power and glory belong to our God’ (Revelation 18:14-17; 19:1).

Jesus Is Our Forever Friend.

Proverbs 17:13-28
“A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). Help us, Lord, to look beyond human love and human friendship. Help us to see Jesus. His love is the greatest love. He is our greatest Friend. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. Thank You for His love. He’s our Forever Friend. May we know, in our hearts, that His love is ‘always and forever’ love.

Help us, Lord, to look for Jesus – and to find that He was already looking for us before we started looking for Him.

Proverbs 16:1-17
“Wisdom is better than gold” (Proverbs 16:16). Where, Lord, will we find wisdom? Your Word tells us that Jesus Christ is “our Wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30). When we find Him, we find wisdom. Jesus says to us, “Seek, and you will find” (Matthew 7:7). Set us free from the idea that we already know what wisdom is before we start looking for it. Help us to look for Jesus – and to find that He was already looking for us before we started looking for Him. We thank You, Lord, that, when Jesus finds us, we find the “wisdom” which “is better than gold.”

There is a wise way of living – and there is a foolish way.

Proverbs 10:1-22 There is a wise way of living – and there is a foolish way. We’re always being pulled away from the wise way. We’re always being dragged into the way of foolishness. Sometimes, Lord, we don’t need much persuasion to turn away from following You. Our hearts are already drifting away from You – before Satan comes with his subtle – yet strong – temptations. Help us, Lord, to choose the “way that leads to life” – and not the “way that leads to destruction” (Matthew 7:13-14). Help us to choose Jesus, our Saviour. Help us to know that, in Him, we have the forgiveness of sins, given to us as Your gift of grace; the power of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to live for You; and eternal life, being prepared for us in Your heavenly glory.

Lord, we are so easily entangled in the ways of the world.

Proverbs 5:1-14 Lord, we are so easily entangled in the ways of the world. We try to disentangle ourselves – but we can’t do this by ourselves. we need Your power. We need Your love. It’s Your love that changes everything. It’s Your power that makes us new. Show us Your love. Show us Your power. May Your love lift us out of our sin. May Your power lead us in the way of Your salvation.

There are times, Lord, when it seems like the light has gone out ...

Proverbs 4:10-19 There are times, Lord, when it seems like the light has gone out, and we can see nothing – nothing but darkness. When this happens to us, help us to catch a glimpse of the brightest light of all – the light of Your love. This is the light which will never go out. It is not our faith that lifts us out of the darkness. It’s Your love – the love that we see in Jesus, in His dying for us, His rising for us and His returning for us.

Lord, we want everything to go smoothly – but that’s not what You’ve promised us!

Proverbs 3:1-18

Lord, we want everything to go smoothly – but that’s not what You’ve promised us! Your way can seem like a long and winding road – but it’s better to be facing problems, as we walk with You on the pathway of holiness, than to be having an easy time of it because we’ve stopped standing up for You.

Christ turns the world's values upside down.

"How hard it will be for rich people to enter God's Kingdom!" (Mark 10:23).
Christ turns the world's values upside down. He asks us, 'The things that are so important to you - are they really so important? or Have you made them more important than they really are?'

Faith Is The Victory ...

"Faith is the victory that overcomes the world" (1 John 5:4).
Jesus has won the victory.  He gives His victory to us. We receive His victory by faith. For Jesus, the pathway to victory was the way of the Cross. We will be led in the pathway of victory, as we learn to follow Jesus. He calls us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him (Luke 9:23).

Saved By Grace, Saved For Good Works, Saved To Be A Witness

 * Saved by grace - "He saved us, but not because of anything we had done to gain His approval. Instead, because of his mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5). 
 * Saved for good works - "God’s saving kindness ... trains us to avoid ungodly lives filled with worldly desires so that we can live self-controlled, moral, and godly lives in this present world" (Titus 2:11-12).
 *  Saved to be a witness - We are to "show the beauty of the teachings about God our Savior in everything we do" (Titus 2:10). Witness is more than what we say. It's what we do. Our whole life - words as well as actions - is to point people away from ourselves to our Saviour.

"Lord, teach us to pray ... Ask, seek, knock ... " (Luke 11:1,9).

Prayer is more than a form of words. It's about what we're becoming as well as what we're saying. Are we becoming people who are learning to say, "What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer"? "Take it to the Lord in prayer" - Teach us, Lord, to do this.

What no-one else could ever do for us, God has done for us.

"No one can ever buy back another person or pay God a ransom for his life" (Psalm 49:7).
What no-one else could ever do for us, God has done for us -  "... the  Son of Man came ... to give His life as a ransom for many people” (Mark 10:45). "God forbid that I should glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14).

A Great Celebration, A Great God

"Clap your hands, all you people.Shout to God with a loud, joyful song. ... " (Psalm 47).
What a great celebration! What a great God!

The Mercy Of God

"The mercy of God lasts all day long! ... I trust the mercy of God forever and ever" (Psalm 52:1,8).
Mercy is God's gift to us. Trust is our response to God's mercy. His mercy is for here-and-now. It's for today. His mercy is everlasting - "His mercy endures for ever" (Psalm 136). It's for today. It's for tomorrow. It's for every today. It's for every tomorrow. May God help each of us, today and every day, to trust His mercy.

More Than My Opinion!

"The Lord, the only true God has spoken" (Psalm 50:1). 
How are we to make sense of life? What are we to believe? Are there answers to life's biggest questions. Where have we come from? Where are we headed for? What's life all about? We don't have all the answers. Sometimes, we have to say, 'I don't know.' - but there is something else that we must always say, "The Lord, the only true God, has spoken" (Psalm 50:1). We've not been left to wander around  in the darkness of our own uncertainty and confusion. God has given us His Word. His light has shone into our lives. We may not understand everything - but we do have His answers to our most important questions. Thank God - we can say more than "This is what I think. I may be right. I be wrong. This is my opinion." God has given us something better - "The Lord, the only true God, has spoken" (Psalm 50:1). We thank You, Lord that "Your Word is truth"…

Where Does Revelation Come From?

" ... the sky opened, and I saw visions from God ... The power of the Lord came over Ezekiel" (Ezekiel 1:1-2).
Where does revelation come from? Does it come from us? Is it something that we discover? No! It comes from above. It comes from heaven. It comes from the Lord. It is given to us. It is the gift of  His grace. Revelation comes to us - but it doesn't begin with us. It begins with God. We see things differently - when our eyes are opened by the Lord. No glory belongs to us. All the glory belongs to the Lord. We dare not say, "Look  at what I have discovered." All we can say is this, ""To God be the glory! Great things He has done."

By Your Power ... Victory ... Praise .... Give Thanks.

"By Your power You forced nations out of the land,but You planted our ancestors there.You shattered many groups of people,but You set our ancestors free.It was not with their swords that they took possession of the land.They did not gain victory with their own strength.It was Your right hand, Your arm,and the light of your presence that did it,because You were pleased with them ...All day  long we praise our God.Wegive thanks to You forever" (Psalm 44:2-3,8).
The power comes from God. The victory is given to us. Let us praise the Lord and give thanks to Him.

More Than We Can Put Into Words

Psalm 78:12-25
"He worked wonders" (Psalm 78:12), "He gave them drink as abundant as the depths" (Psalm 78:15), "He brought streams out of the stone and made water flow down like rivers" (Psalm 78:16), "They spoke against God - Is God able to provide food in the wilderness?" (Psalm 78:19), "waters gushed out, torrents overflowed" (Psalm 78:20), "He opened the doors of heaven" (Psalm 78:23), "He gave them grain from heaven" (Psalm 78:24), "the bread of angels, an abundant supply of food"(Psalm 78:25).
This is about more than food. In Psalm 78:22, we read about "salvation." Whatever words we use to describe God's salvation, we can never say all that needs to be said. It's always more than we can put into words.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation" (Psalm 27:1).

Whenever we confess our faith in the Lord, we must never forget what we were without the Lord. We were in darkness. We were lost. He has brought us out of our darkness and into His light. He has found us. He has saved us.

We Need More Than The Ten Commandments. We Need Jesus, Our Saviour.

Exodus 20:1-21
Before the Ten Commandments, there is love (Exodus 20:2). There is more than law. . There us more than the exodus. There is Jesus, our Saviour. He does for us what the law can never do for us. He saves us.
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) - What effect do they have on us? Read Exodus 20:18-21 - "thunder and lightning", "the mountain surrounded by smoke", "the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance", "don't let God speak to us, or we will die", "the people remained standing at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was".
Distance, darkness - This is where the law leaves us.
If we are to move from distance to nearness, from darkness to light, we need more than the law. We need Jesus, our Saviour. 

The Exodus

Exodus 2:23-25
The Exodus is more than a departure. It's a deliverance. It's more than a protest against Egypt. It's an answer to prayer. It's more than a social revolution. It's a spiritual revelation of God's love.

Out Of Our Old Life, Into Christ's New Life

1 Corinthians 10:1-33
‘Participation in the blood of Christ… participation in the body of Christ’ (16): There is nothing more important than this.
We are not to be spectators, standing on the side lines, watching what’s going on without ever getting involved. We are to be participants, getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ, growing in our love for Him, strengthening our faith in Him, bringing more glory to Him. We eat bread. We drink wine.
We remember Jesus Christ, ‘the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us’. We do not only remember this great event from the past. We participate in Christ here and now. He has brought us out of our old life - ‘I have been crucified with Christ’ - and into His new life - ‘It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me’ (Galatians 2:20).
Participate ‘in Christ’ - not only in ‘the Church’!

Let's Live As Servants Of Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:25-8:13
We are to ‘use the things of the world’ without becoming ‘engrossed in them’ (31).
Becoming more worldly in our way of living is not a purely personal thing. We harm other people ‘for whom Christ died’. They look to us for a godly example and we let them down. We ‘sin against them’. We ‘sin against Christ’. Our choices affect other people. We choose a self-centred life. We cause them to ‘fall into sin.’ We live a life of ‘love’, and they are ‘built up’ in their faith (11-13,1; Matthew 18:5-7, 10).
How are we to live? Are we to become preoccupied with how our actions affect those who watch our every move? That could become very confusing and distracting. We must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must live ‘not ... as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart...’ (Ephesians 6:6-7).

What are we to do when our love for God grows weak?

Psalms 116:1-117:2 ‘I love the Lord... I will call on Him as long as I live’(Psam 116:1-2). Our love for God is to be a lifelong life. It is to be the love of our life. What are we to do when our love for God grows weak? We must remember His love for us - ‘Great is His love towards us. The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever’(117:2). When we find it difficult to keep on loving God, we must remember how much He loves us. When we feel like giving up on loving God, we must remember that He never gives up on loving us. He loves us when our love for Him is strong. He loves us when our love for Him is weak. In love, He reaches out to us. He brings us out of our weakness and into His strength. Let His strong love reach you in your weakness and give you His strength: ‘Loving Him who first loved me.’

Our Love For The Lord Must Be Stronger Than Any Other Love.

1 Corinthians 6:12-7:24
The Lord has placed the highest value on us: ‘you were bought with a price’ (6:20; 7:23).
Our love for Him must be stronger than any other love.
Some are under pressure, at home, from an unbelieving husband or wife. You wonder whether your Christian witness is doing any good (7:16). You feel you are getting nowhere. You feel like giving up. You feel yourself being dragged away from the Lord.
What does the Word of God say? - ‘Lead the life which the Lord has assigned’; ‘Remain with God’ (7:17,24).
A difficult situation at home is just one example of ‘the world’ trying to ‘squeeze us into its own mould’ (Romans 12:2).
The world will keep chipping away at our faith - until there’s nothing left. ‘Do not love the world or the things in the world... He who does the will of God abides for ever’ (1 John 2:17).

May God's Blessing Surround You Each Day ...

God's Word is "a lamp to our feet and a light to our path." He has "wondrous things" to teach us as we pray "Open my eyes that I may see" (Psalm 119:105, 18, 11). "May God's blessing surround you each day, as you trust Him and walk in His way. May His presence within guard and keep you from sin, go in peace, go in joy, go in love." "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your Name give glory, because of Your mercy and Your truth" (Psalm 115:1).

The Great Love Of God

Psalms 113:1-114:8 ‘The Lord is high above all nations... Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high?... Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, who turns the hard rock into springs of water’(Psalm 113:4-5; Psalm 114:7-8). Lord, You are greater than we could ever imagine. There is no greatness like Your greatness. All human greatness cannot even begin to compare with Your greatness. Your greatness is not only the greatness of Your power. It is also the greatness of Your love. When we sing, ‘How great Thou art’, we sing not only of Your power - ‘Thy power throughout the universe displayed’. We sing also of Your love - ‘And when I think that God His Son not sparing, sent Him to die - I scarce can take it in, that on the Cross my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin...’

More Of Christ And Less Of Self!

1 Corinthians 5:1-6:11
‘Your boasting is not good’ - May we never become so taken up with ourselves that we forget Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us: ‘Christ, ou r Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us’, ‘you were washed... sanctified... justified in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God’ (5:6-7; 6:11).
There were problems among God’s people - ‘sexual immorality’, ‘lawsuits’ (5:1; 6:7). In all of this, Christ was being forgotten.
* There are no depths to which we cannot sink when we take our eyes off Christ.
* There are no heights to which we will not be raised as we look away from ourselves to Him. Christ is able to lift from the guttermost and ‘save to the uttermost all those who come to God through Him’ (Hebrews 7:25).
Let it be more of Christ and less of self!

Psalm 11: God's way of salvation

This Psalm begins with a tremendous statement of faith - “In the Lord I take refuge.” The whole Psalm should be understood in the light of this tremendous statement of faith. From the vantage-point of faith, the Psalmist is able to overcome the temptation to doubt God (vs. 1-3). His enemies say to him, “”Flee like a bird to your mountain.” The Psalmist replies, “In the Lord I take refuge.” The “wicked” are out to get him. The Psalmist looks at them, and says, “In the Lord do I take refuge.” It seems that “the foundations are being destroyed.” The Psalmist looks to the Lord, and says, “In the Lord I take refuge.” From the vantage-point of faith, the Psalmist views the whole of life in the light of God. “In the Lord I take refuge.” There is only one refuge. The Lord is our refuge. He is our salvation. There is only one place of safety – “in Christ." “It is by grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). By grace, we are in Christ. Through faith, we are in Chris…

You keep on loving us, no matter what’s going on in our lives.

Psalm 119:73-96 Lord, we rejoice in Your ‘constant love’. This is our ‘comfort’ - You keep on loving us, no matter what’s going on in our lives. We may be going through really hard times - ‘Men persecute me with lies... They have almost succeeded in killing me’. There’s one thing that never changes - Your ‘constant love’. You love us in the hard times as well as in the happy times. Your love inspires us to keep on loving You when we feel like giving up in despair (Psalm 11976,86-88). We see many changes taking place in our world. Sometimes, we wonder, ‘Where are You, Lord, in all of this? Have You abandoned us? Can we keep on trusting You and rejoicing in Your Word?’. When our minds are full of negative thoughts, help us, Lord, to remember Your Word - ‘Your Word, O Lord, will last for ever... Your faithfulness endures through all the ages’ (Psalm 119:89-90).

Lord, You’re calling us to love You with our whole heart.

Psalm 119:145-176 ‘With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord!’ (Psalm 119:145). Lord, You’re calling us to pray. There is nothing more important than this. If other things have become more important in our lives, we need to think about the way we are living. You want to send Your blessing into our lives: ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you’ (Matthew 7:7). Your blessing will come to those who seek him with their whole heart: ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:13). If we do not ask, we will not receive: ‘You do not have, because you do not ask’ (James 4:2). Your blessing is not given to those who are half-hearted. You’re calling us to love You with our whole heart: ‘I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and Your law is my delight’ (Psalm 119:174).

Lord, have we pushed You out to the edges of our life? Help us to walk with You in the light of Your Word.

Psalm 119:121-144 ‘The entrance of Your words gives light’ (Psalm 119:130). Lord, Your Word brings light into our lives. Sadly, many people ‘love darkness rather than light’. They  refuse to ‘come to the light’. They prefer to remain in the darkness. They refuse to listen to what You are saying to them through Your Word. Then, when things are not going so well for them, they blame You. They say, ‘It’s all Your fault’! Things could have been so different. They could have learned to spend time with You. They could have learned the lessons of faith which are found in Your Word. They could have learned to cope with life’s difficulties. They could have been filled with Your strength. They would not be complaining against You. They would be rejoicing in You. What about us, Lord? How much are we moulded by the world’s way of thinking? Have we pushed You out to the edges of our life? Lord. Lord, You have “called us out of darkness into Your marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:10). Help …

Lord, You have so much to teach us – and we have so much to learn.

Psalm 119:97-120 Lord, You have so much to teach us – and we have so much to learn. How do we learn from You? – You open up Your Word to us. You speak to us words of life. You shine Your light upon us. You show us how much You love us. Every day You have something to say to us. Every day, You have something to share with us. Every day, You show us more of Your love for us. Help us, each and every day, to take time to learn from You. Throughout life, Lord, we have to make choices. Some choices are relatively straightforward. Others are very much more difficult. Some choices don’t affect the rest of our life very much. There are, however, choices which affect the whole of our life. Help us, Lord, to make the one choice which is more important than any other – Choosing the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Those who refuse to choose are ‘double-minded’(Psalm 119:113). They can’t make up their mind. They know that they should be following Christ – but they are still ‘in love…

Lord, Your Word makes such a difference!

Psalm 119:49-72 Lord, Your Word makes such a difference! When everything seems so hopeless, we turn to Your Word,  and we find that there is ‘hope’ (Psalm 119:49). When we are going through a time of  terrible ‘suffering’, we turn to Your Word, and we find ‘comfort’ (Psalm 119:50,52). When everything seems to be going so badly, help us, Lord, to keep on reading Your Word: ‘The wicked have laid a trap for me, but I do not forget Your law’ (Psalm 119:61). Through Your Word, You are teaching us to see Your purpose in our sufferings: ‘The punishment You gave me was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to Your laws’ (Psalm 119:71). You, Lord, are showing us what is really important: ‘The law that You gave means more to me than all the money in the world’ (Psalm 119:72). Teach us to see Your ‘love’ in every part of our life (Psalm 119:64).

How, Lord, do You revive us according to Your Word?

Psalm 119:25-48 ‘Revive me according to Your Word’ (Psalm 119:25). How, Lord, do You revive us according to Your Word? You give us Your salvation: ‘Let Your unfailing love come to me, O Lord - Your salvation according to Your Word’ (Psalm 119:41). You give us Your strength: ‘My soul is weary with sorrow. Strengthen me according to Your Word’ (28). You give us a change of heart: ‘I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on Your laws... I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free... Give me understanding, and I will keep Your law and obey it with my whole heart... Turn my heart to Your testimonies...’ (Psalm 119:30,32,34,36). You give us ‘new life’: ‘When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!’ (Psalm 119:40; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Help us, Lord, to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Psalm 119:1-24 Lord, You show us the way of blessing. It is the way of obedience (Psalm 119:1,9,11,17). Many will choose the way of disobedience - ‘influential people sit together and slander me’. Help us to choose the way of obedience - ‘Your servant will meditate on Your teachings’ (Psalm 119:23). We know, Lord, that following Jesus Christ will not be easy. We see many people turning back from following Him. We are tempted to join them. We feel the pull of the world. We must not return to the world’s way of living. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.  Help us to remember all that Jesus has done for us - ‘He loved us and gave Himself for us’ (Galatians 2:20) - and recommit ourselves to following Him: ‘I have decided to follow Jesus... The world behind me, the Cross before me... Though none go with me, I still will follow... No turning back, no turning back’ (Mission Praise, 272).

My Strength, My Song, My Saviour

Psalm 118:1-29 ‘The Lord is my Strength and my Song. He is my Saviour’(Psalm 118:14). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus Christ is our Saviour. We thank You that He gives us a song to sing: ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine... This is my story, this is my song, praising my Saviour all the day long’. Help us, Lord, to grow in our knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. May we sing His song with strength, committing ourselves to His service, earnestly seeking to win others for Him.

Those who fear You, Lord, have no need to live in fear of man.

Psalms 111:1-112:10 'Praise the Lord... To Him belong eternal praise... Blessed is the man who fears the Lord... His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes...'(Psalm 111:1,10; Psalm 112:1,8). Those who 'fear' You, Lord, have no need to live in fear of man. Those who know that ‘eternal praise’ belongs to You, Lord, can face their enemies with confidence. Our confidence is not in ourselves. Our confidence is You. We know how good You have been to us - ‘He provided redemption for His people’. We thank You that we have heard and believed the Good News of Christ. We need not ‘fear’ any ‘bad news’ which the devil sends our way. We 'trust' in You, Lord, confident that the ‘light ‘will triumph over the ‘darkness’. We thank You that the Good News of Christ will triumph over the devil’s bad news (Psalm 111:9; Psalm 112:4,7).

We come to You, Lord, in our weakness, and You ‘renew our strength.’

Psalm 110:1-7 ‘The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand...’(Psalm 110:1). Lord, we read these words, and we think of our Lord Jesus Christ: When ‘He was taken up into heaven, He sat at the right hand of God’(Mark 16:19). When Jesus ascended to Your Father’s right hand, the Holy Spirit was sent down from heaven to fill our lives with Your blessing (John 7:37-39). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, our lives are changed: ‘In the Day of Your power, Your people will come to You willingly...’. We come to You, Lord, in our weakness, and You ‘renew our strength’. We come to You in our weariness, and we are ‘refreshed’ by Your ‘streams of living water’(Psalm 110,7). ‘Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace. Streams of mercy never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise.’

What, Lord, are we to do when the world, the flesh and the devil are threatening to overwhelm us?

Psalm 109:1-31 Lord, we come to You, recognizing that, without You, our situation is hopeless - ‘I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow’(Psalm 109:22). When our enemies are on the attack, we are no match for them. What are we to do when the world, the flesh and the devil are threatening to overwhelm us? We must come to You, Lord, praying for Your help, asking You to save us - ‘Help me, O Lord my God; save me in accordance with Your love’(Psalm 109:26). Help us, Lord, to look away from ourselves and our own weakness. Help us to put our trust in You and Your strength. You will not fail us. You ‘stand beside’ us in our time of testing. You ‘save’ us from our enemies. Help us to keep on praising You: ‘I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth. I will praise Him among many people...’(Psalm 109:30-31).

Worshipping the Lord - not just on a Sunday, not only when I feel like it, not only ‘when there’s nothing better to do’!

Psalm 104:1-35
‘I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live’(Psalm 104:33). Sometimes, Lord, we feel like giving up. Other things become more important to us. Worshipping You gets pushed out to the edge of your life. Wrong attitudes creep in. It starts with the idea, ‘Worship’s just an hour on a Sunday’. Then, it becomes, ‘I’ll worship the Lord when I feel like it’. It soon becomes, ‘I’ll worship the Lord when I’ve nothing better to do’. Before long, all desire for worshipping You Lord has gone! Little-by-little, we drift away from the Lord. It’s time, for us, to start thinking about what’s happening. It’s time for a new beginning. It’s time for an ‘all my life’ commitment to worshipping You, Lord - not just on a Sunday, not only when I feel like it, not only ‘when there’s nothing better to do’!

Are we to say, ‘God loves me. I can do what I like’?

Psalm 103:1-22 ‘Praise the Lord’(Psalm 103:1-2,20-22). Lord, You're calling us to praise You for His ‘steadfast love’. You are ‘abounding in steadfast love’(Psalm 103:8). How are we to respond to Your ‘steadfast love’? Are we to say, ‘God loves me. I can do what I like’? No! We must not think like this. We’re not to say, ‘I’ll keep on sinning. God will keep on forgiving’(Romans 6:1-2). Your Word tells us something very different. You love us. Teach us to love You. When Your ‘steadfast love’ has really touched our hearts, it changes our lives: ‘As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him... The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear Him’(Psalm 103:11,17). We thank You, Lord, for Your love. Help us to live to please You!

Lord, our situation seems to be utterly hopeless. How can we possibly win the victory?

Psalm 108:1-13 ‘With God we shall gain the victory. He will trample down our enemies’(Psalm 108:13). In ourselves, Lord, there is only defeat. We are no match for ‘our enemies’- the world, the flesh and the devil. We are surrounded by the world - ‘The world is ever near. I see the sights that dazzle. The tempting sounds I hear’. We live with the constant problem of the flesh - ‘the storms of passion, the murmurs of self-will.’ Behind the world and the flesh, there is an even stronger enemy - the devil: ‘Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against... the spiritual forces of evil...’(Ephesians 6:12). Lord, our situation seems to be utterly hopeless. How can we possibly win the victory? The simple truth is: We cannot. There is, however, a deeper truth: You, Lord, are with us - and ‘with God we shall win the victory’!

Some things are worth repeating!

Psalm 107:1-43 Lord, there are some things that are worth repeating! The story of Your amazing grace is worth repeating over and over again - ‘Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress’(Psalm 107:6,13,19,28). The call to praise You is also something we need to hear again and again - ‘Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men’(Psalm 107:8,15,21,31). Help us, Lord, 'consider Your great love.' Help us to ‘give thanks to You’(Psalm 107:43,1).

A History Of Sin - And A History Of Salvation

Psalm106:1-48 Lord, we read about Israel’s sin - ‘They soon forgot what He had done and did not wait for His counsel... They despised the pleasant land; they did not believe His promise... They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord... They rebelled against the Spirit of God’(Psalm 106:13,24-25,33). This is not only ancient history. It’s the story of our life! We read this, and we must join in Israel’s confession of sin: ‘We have sinned, even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly’(Psalm 106:6). We thank You, Lord, that the history of Israel is not only a history of sin. It's also a history of salvation: ‘He saved them...’(Psalm 106:8,10). When, Lord, we read of Your salvation, may we echo the prayer of Your people - ‘Save us, O Lord our God...’ May we join with them in praising You - ‘Praise be to the Lord...’(Psalm 106:47-48).

When things are going badly and we feel like giving up ...

Psalm 105:23-45 ‘He brought His people out with joy’(Psalm 105:43). When things are going badly and we feel like giving up, help us, Lord, to remember Your Word: ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’(Nehemiah 8:10). You're calling us to ‘rejoice in You always’. You do not leave us on our own when our time of testing comes. You are there for us in our time of need: ‘My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus’(Philippians 4:4,19). When we are deeply conscious of our own weakness, You come to us with Your Word of strength: ‘My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness’(2 Corinthians 12:9). Through Your Word, we receive strength. Your Word brings joy to us. May we sing ‘glad songs of victory’: ‘The Lord is my Strength, my Song, my Saviour’(Psalm 118:14-15).

Serving Our Lord Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 4:1-21
As ‘servants of Christ’, we must concern ourselves with one thing - being ‘found faithful’.
This is not a matter of pleasing people - ‘it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you...'
Pleasing God - this is the most important thing (1-4).
Serving Christ is not easy.
There are always those who are quick to pass judgment on the Lord’s servants. What does God say about this? - ‘Do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes’ (9-13,5).
Being ‘found faithful’ is not just a matter of ‘saying the right words’. We must be the right people. This is what Paul means when he says, ‘The kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power’ (20). ‘You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses’ (Acts 1:8; Romans 12:11).

The Saviour Is More Important Than The Preacher.

1 Corinthians 2:6-3:23
We come to know God when ‘the Spirit’ leads us to 'Jesus Christ' (2:10-13; 3:11; John 16:14).
We must not attach too much importance to the preachers - ‘What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants ...’. When we make too much of the servant, we draw attention away from the Saviour.
There is a very important lesson here - ‘Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth’ (3:5-7).
We are not members of a ‘mutual appreciation society’ - ‘You pat my back, and I’ll pat yours’!
We must learn to point to Jesus, saying, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (John 3:30).
Let ‘Jesus take the highest honour’. Let His Name be ‘the Name high over all’. ‘’Tis all my business... to cry Behold the Lamb!’ (Mission Praise, 378,385) - Let’s say it and mean it!

Keeping Our Focus On Christ

1 Corinthians 1:1-2:5
Paul preached the Gospel, ‘not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power’ (17; 2:4). He preached 'Christ crucified' with a determination ‘to know nothing except Jesus Christ crucified’(23; 2:2). This is the message of our salvation - ‘Christ crucified... Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’ (23-24). All the glory belongs to God. We have no right to steal away any of the glory for ourselves: ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord’ (26-31). Our faith is ‘not based on human wisdom but on God’s power’ (2:5). ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’ (Mission Praise, 712). Christ is our full salvation. ‘Let us rejoice and be glad’ in Him’ (30; Psalm 118:24).

Praying And Caring

"The Holy Spirit" (Acts 6:5) - This is in relation to social concern. "Prayer and the ministry of the Word" (Acts 6:4) - This is not the whole service of the Lord. It lies at the heart of God's work, but there must also be ways of showing people that we care.

Looking beyond the prophet to the Saviour

The birth of Jesus and the birth of John are closely connected. God was sending His Son. He was also sending His prophet. The prophet should not be exalted too highly.  His purpose is to exalt the Saviour. As we read about Mary, Elizabeth and Zechariah, we see that each of them gave glory to the Lord. "Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit" (Luke 1::41). "Mary said, My soul praises the Lord's greatness" (Luke 1:46). "Zechariah began to praise God .... Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied" (Luke 1:64-67).

Eternal Life or Eternal Loss?

Matthew 25 begins with the words, "When the end comes" (Matthew 25:1), and ends with the words, "eternal life" (Matthew 25:46). Often, we might wish that this was all that the Word of God says  about "the end" - "eternal life." This is not all that is said. Jesus also speaks to us about eternal loss (Matthew 25:11-12,30,41,46). The choices that determine eternal loss and eternal life are being made here-and-now. Each one of us must decide whether we will be like the wise bridesmaids or the foolish bridesmaids. By our way of life, here on earth, we will show whether we are "good and faithful servants" or "useless servants." Our response to the Lord will be seen in our response to other people (Matthew 25:40). Live for the Lord now. Live with Him in eternity.

Keep On Listening To What God's Word Says.

Whenever the end-times are spoken of, many strange things are said. People speak as if they know it all. The more they say, the more they show that they don't know it all. We need to make sure that we keep listening to what God's Word says to us. This will keep us from being deceived by people who make things up as they go along. The main thing that Jesus says to us is this:  "you must be ready because the Son of Man will return when you least expect Him" (Matthew 24:44).

When The World Comes To An End, God's Word Remains - Forever,

Jesus speaks about the end-times: "The earth and heaven will disappear." He also speaks about something that will never come to an end: "My words will never disappear" (Matthew 24:35). In all of life's changing circumstances, we must hold on to this great truth: God's Word is forever.

Why does Jesus speak to us about the end-times?

Why does Jesus speak to us about the end-times? - He is encouraging us to "endure to the end" (Matthew 24:13). We cannot endure to the end without the grace of God: "If God does not reduce the number of those days, no one will be saved" (Matthew 24:22). God's Word tells us that we are to "keep ourselves in the love of God" (Jude 21). It also tells us that we are kept, in the love of God, by the power of God - the power of His love (Jude 24).

A Protest Against Hypocrisy, A Protest For Holiness

In Matthew 23, we have a devastating protest against hypocrisy. What is a protest against hypocrisy? It's a protest for holiness. God is calling us to be holy. He is saying to us that we must never be content with hypocrisy. God has something better for us. The way of holiness begins with welcoming the Saviour. Our faith and life are grounded in Him - "Blessed is the One who comes in the Name of the Lord" (Matthew 23:39). Jesus inspires our worship. He gives us strength for living.

Jesus Has So Much To Say To Us.

What variety there is in Matthew 22 - a story about a wedding reception, a question about taxes, the dead come back to life, love God and your neighbour, how can David's son be David's Lord? When we read the Gospels, we must allow the Lord Jesus to speak to us on all the subjects that He brings to us. We are not to select our favourite passages and ignore the other passages. If we only read the parts we like, we are not really listening to the Lord. He has so much to say to us. Lord, give us a listening ear.

The Authority Of Grace

In Matthew 21:23-46, we learn that the authority of Jesus is heard in His words and seen in His actions. He speaks of grace. He lives by grace. Jesus is the foundation of our salvation. Without Him, there is no salvation. With Him, we are greatly blessed. What a great Saviour He is!

A Very Different King

In Matthew 21:1-22, we learn that Jesus is a very different King from the kings of this world. He is the King of love. There is no tyranny, no dictatorship, no reign of terror. Alongside His love, there is His holiness. We see this in the cleansing of the Temple. He is looking for us to be fruitful. This is the lesson of the cursed fig tree. May God help us to be fruitful - in holiness and in love.

The Reversal Of The World's Values

"The last will be first, and the first will be last" (Matthew 20:16). This is the reversal of the world's values. This is grace - not works. The way in which grace reaches us is through Christ's death and resurrection  (Matthew 20:17-19). When we hear the Gospel - Jesus "came to serve and gave His life as a ransom for many people" (Matthew 20:28), our eyes are opened to see who Jesus really is and to understand what He has done for us, and we follow Him (Matthew 20:34).

A New Way Of Thinking - And A New Way Of Living

Jesus speaks about "the Kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:12,23), "the Kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:14,24) and "eternal life" (Matthew 19:29).  Jesus' way of thinking and living is so very different from the world's way of thinking and living. He challenges us to think His way and live his way.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Here are some great words from Jim Elliot, an American missionary who died at the hands of Auca Indians in Ecuador in the 1950s – “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
 * "To gain what he cannot lose" - Eternal life has lasting value.  * "what he cannot keep" - The things of this world don’t have lasting value. After Jim Elliot and four other American missionaries were killed, there was great blessing among the Aucas.
 * Think of these faithful martyrs. Think of the blessing which followed.  In 2 Corinthians 4:15, we have a great comment on the wonderful blessing which followed the killing of the American missionaries by the Aucas - “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” The American missionaries laid down their lives. The Aucas found eternal life. It was for their benefit. Grace reached more and more people. There was an …

From Disaster To Revival

* "In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and You listened to my cry" (Jonah 2:2). What are we to do when the going gets tough? We've heard the saying, When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We wonder if this really helps. What if we find that we're not really so tough? What happens when we can't get going? There are times when we know that this is too much for us. We can't raise ourselves up. We need to be lifted. We need You, Lord. You are "the lifter of my head." (Psalm 3:3). It's Your love that lifts us: "Love lifted me. When no-one but Christ could help, love lifted me" (James Rowe).  * “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered You, Lord, and my prayer rose to You, to Your holy temple" (Jonah 2:7). Where does this remembering come from? It comes from the Lord. He puts the prayer into our hearts. Jonah was running away from God. God w…

Praise doesn't begin with us!

"Praise God in His sanctuary" (Psalm 150:1). "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit... glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Where does praise come from? How do we learn to glorify God"? We learn that we "have been bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 6:20). At the Cross of Christ, we learn to praise God. We see Jesus, crucified for us - and our hearts are filled with praise to God. This is where praise begins. It doesn't begin with us. It begins with God. It begins with Jesus. It begins with the Holy Spirit.

God's Temple ...

"Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple" (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
God has given us a great privilege - "you yourselves are God's temple... God's Spirit dwells in your midst."  He's given us a great responsibility - we must take care of "God's temple." When God's Spirit comes into our hearts, what does He do? Does He give us a feeling of superiority - we're better than they are? No! He calls upon us to search our hearts more deeply: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).

God's Glorious Future

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
How does the Lord keep us walking in His way? – He keeps on bringing to our attention the glorious future which He is preparing for us. He keeps on reminding us that we are being prepared for His eternal glory. How is He preparing us for ”praise,  glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed”? – He is teaching us to “love Him. ” The more we are learning to love Him, the more we will look forward, “with an inexpressible and glorious joy” to  ”the end result of our faith, the salvation of our souls” (1 Peter 1:7-9).

Good News for sinners

God's way of righteousness begins with this - He is "just" - and leads to this - He "justifies those who have faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:26)."For our salvation Christ came down from heaven" (Nicene Creed) - This is Good News for sinners.  As we rejoice in the "for our salvation" message of the Gospel, let us never forget the "for His glory" message!  "To God be the glory, great things He has done! So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and opened the life-gate that all may go in. Praise the Lord! ... Give Him the glory!"

"I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God" (Romans 15:17).

Where has the blessing come from? Does it say something about how worthy we are? No! It's not about us. We haven't done anything to deserve God's blessing. The blessing comes from the Lord. To Him be all the glory!

“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Is this no longer true just because a lot of people have lost interest in singing the song of salvation? No! This was Good News in Paul’s day. It’s still Good News for today. It will always be the Good News of God’s love. It will always be the great reminder of God’s “for ever” love (Psalm 136).

Strengthening the faith of all the disciples

"Paul ... strengthened  the faith of all the disciples" (Acts 18:23).
Strengthening the faith of all the disciples - This is such an important ministry. We are not to be content with the faith that we have. We are to press on to a stronger faith. What do we mean when we speak about a strong faith? What we mean is this: We're learning to trust in our strong God. Our God is always stronger than our faith. It's not so much our faith that's strong. It's our God who's strong. The strengthening of our faith - This is about a growing awareness of our strong God. He is our strength. Our faith is growing stronger when we're learning to look away from ourselves - we are always weak - to our God - He is always strong.

A Problem - And A Response

"Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls ... Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words ... Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord" (Acts 15:24,32,35).
There was a problem. There needed to be a response. Whenever God's people are being "troubled" and "unsettled" by those who speak their own "words" rather than the Word of the Lord, what are we to do? We must pray that God will raise up "prophets" who will preach the Gospel and teach the Word of God, strengthening the faith of God's people and leading them into a closer walk with God.

Give careful attention to God's Word.

"The people of Berea were more open-minded than the people of Thessalonica. They were very willing to receive God’s message, and every day they carefully examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true" (Acts 17:11).

Give careful attention to God's Word. This is what we learn from the Bereans. May God help us to be more like them.

Guidance

"During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them" (Acts 16:9-10).
Paul's guidance came through " a man of Macedonia." His guidance came from "God." We look at the human situation. We ask the Lord, "What do You want me to do?"

Decisions - And Disiciples

“Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.’” (Acts 15:36). 
We begin with making decisions – but we don’t end there. We must go on from there to making disciples. Making a decision for Christ is just the beginning. Growing into a disciple of Christ – this is God’s calling for the whole of our life’s journey.

Corrected By God's Word - Not Correcting God's Word!

“I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected” (Habakkuk 2:1).
Habakkuk doesn’t say to God, “Let me hear what you have to say to me – and I’ll go away and think about it and see if I agree with what you have said.” No! He says something very different. He says, “Let me hear what you have to say to me – and I will be corrected by Your Word to me.” It’s our thinking that needs to be corrected by God’s Word – not God’s Word that needs to be corrected by us. The moment we speak about our thinking being corrected by God’s Word, we hear voices being raised – “The Bible was written such a long time ago. The world is very different now.” Yes! The world is very different now – but we must ask the awkward question, “How many of the changes have come from the fact that we have stopped listening to what the Bible has to say to us?” Have we stopped listening to what the Bible has to say to us…

Great things can happen ...

Great things can happen when ‘earnest prayer’ is ‘made to God by the church’ - God ‘is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think’ (Acts 12:5-7; Ephesians 3:20). Give all the glory to God.
Herod ‘did not give God the glory’. He accepted the praise of the people - ‘This is the voice of a god, not of a man’. Herod’s sudden death - ‘an angel of the Lord struck him down’ - is a warning (Acts 12:22-23; Proverbs 29:1). ‘Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows that he will also reap’. ‘Walk humbly with your God’ (Galatians 6:7; Micah 6:8).

Stephen and his Saviour

"Look," Stephen said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7:56).
Immediately after this great  vision of his Saviour, Stephen prayed two prayers  - "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:59);  - "Lord, do not hold this sin against them" (Acts 7:60). Stephen's death wasn't a sad exit from this world. It was a triumphant entry into God's eternal Kingdom. Through faith in Christ, we can die triumphantly.

Salvation In No One Else!

Peter preached Christ with great boldness: ‘There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’(Acts 4:12).
This boldness came from the Holy Spirit. Peter was ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’(Acts 4:8). Don’t say, ‘I‘m no Peter’. Peter failed his Lord and had to be restored (Matthew 26:69-75; John 21:15-17). Peter drew great strength from ‘the company of those who believed’. They ‘gathered together’ for prayer. They ‘were of one heart and soul’...’(Acts 4:31-33). Why did God deal so severely with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)? This was the start of something great. God refused to let His work be spoiled! There is a warning for us: Don’t pretend to be more holy than you really are. God sees what you’re really like. ‘Search me, O God...’(Psalm 139:23-24). There was great blessing: ‘More than ever believers were added to the Lord’(Acts 5:14). There was persecution (Acts 5:17-18). This did not hinder the ad…

Filled With Glory

"I will fill this temple with glory" (Haggai 2:7). We read about the glory of the temple at Jerusalem.  There is, however, a greater glory - the glory of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2) - "I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple" (Revelation 21:22). Where do we find the real glory? Is it in the place where we worship? No! It's in the Person whom we worship. It's in the Lord. The real glory comes from Him. It's the Lord who fills the temple with His glory.

Prophecy That Has Been Fulfilled, Prophecy That Will Be Fulfilled

"They will look on Me, the One they have pierced" (Zechariah 12:10).
"These things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled ... ‘They will look on the One they have pierced’" (John 19:36-37). "They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son" (Zechariah 12:10). "‘Look, He is coming with the clouds,’ and ‘every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him’; and all peoples on earth ‘will mourn because of Him.’ So shall it be! Amen" (Revelation 1:7). There is prophecy that has been fulfilled. There is prophecy that will be fulfilled. From the words of the prophet, we look to events that have already taken place - the crucifixion of Christ. We also look forward to an event that still lies in the future - the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God for the fulfilment of prophecy. We trust in God for the fulfilment of prophecy.

The Cornerstone

"From him will come the cornerstone... they shall be as mighty men, treading down their enemies... because the Lord is with them" (Zechariah 10:4-5). * Jesus Christ is "the cornerstone" upon which our faith is built  - "The Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord" (Samuel John Stone). * In Christ, we are "more than conquerors" (Romans 8:37) - "From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed" (George Duffield). * Jesus is with us. He is our Saviour. He has forgiven our sins. He is our Lord. He leads us in triumph over Satan.

To The Ends Of The Earth

"His dominion shall be ... to the ends of the earth" (Zechariah 9:10). God's purpose was moving on. He had begun with Israel. Their deliverance from bondage in Egypt was a mighty demonstration of His saving power. This was only the beginning. God was moving on to Jesus - "the Saviour of the world" (John 4:42). In Jesus Christ, crucified for us, God was reaching out, in love, to "the whole world" (1 John 2:2). The Gospel is not only for the Jews: "It is it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek" (Romans 1:16). Jesus is calling us, His redeemed people - empowered by the Holy Spirit - to take His message of salvation to the ends of the earth: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

Don't Let God's Word Go In One Ear And Out The Other Ear!

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Let your hands be strong, you who have been hearing in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, who spoke ... '" (Zechariah 8:9).  We hear the Word of the Lord so that we might become strong in the Lord. God's Word is not to go in one ear and out the other hand. When that happens, Satan is winning a great victory over us - "When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts" (Mark 4:15). When we "hear the Word of God", let us pray that we will "accept it and bear fruit" (Mark 4:20).

A Call For Conversion, A Promise of Salvation (Zechariah 1:1-6)

* The Faithful Ministry of God's Prophets God’s work does not always move forward smoothly. We face determined opposition. Where there is opportunity, there will be opposition (1 Corinthians 16:9). The servants of Satan rise up to oppose the servants of the Lord. The Lord’s enemies had some success: ‘the work on the House of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill’ (Ezra 4:24). This was only a temporary setback. God gave new strength to His servants. He sent His ‘prophets, Haggai and Zechariah’ (Ezra 5:1). They brought His Word to the people. Strengthened by their ministry of God’s Word, ‘Zerubbabel... arose and began to rebuild the House of God in Jerusalem’ (Ezra 5:2). God’s work was back on track. His people were moving forward - again. When your head goes down, let the Lord come to you. He will lift you up! God’s work makes good progress when God’s people receive strength from God’s Word. Haggai and Zechariah were faithful in preaching God’s Word to the people. Their…