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Showing posts from January, 2016

We thank You, Lord, that You love us - and You forgive us.

2 Samuel 14:1-33 We thank You, Lord, that You love us - and You forgive us. What a difference that makes! There are times when we feel unloved. We wonder, "How could You possibly forgive us?" When we feel like this, help us to remember that Jesus died for us. When we see ourselves in the light of the cross of Christ, our great Saviour, how can we keep on feeling unloved and unforgiven? Take us, Lord, to the cross. Show us Your love. Show us our Saviour, suffering for us. Show us our Saviour, praying for us: "Father, forgive them ..." (Luke 23:34).

Lord, You have done great things for us. You are still doing great things for us.

Joshua 23:1-16 Lord, You have done great things for us. You are still doing great things for us. You will continue to do great things for us. When we say, "Thank You, Lord, for Your many blessings", help us never to take Your blessing for granted. Help us to keep on living in obedience to Your Word. Help us to see, more clearly, the vital connection between obedience and blessing: Keep the obedience going, and the blessing will keep on coming.

Lord, You love us so much. Help us never to forget this.

Exodus 15:22-16:36 Lord, You love us so much. Help us never to forget this. Help us to remember Jesus - to remember that His body was broken for us, and His blood was shed for us. Help us to feed on Jesus, and to be strong in Him. Lord, when the going gets tough, help us to remember that Your love keeps going and going and going  ...It is a love that never comes to an end. It's everlasting love - the only everlasting love.

When, Lord, we think of Jesus ...

Leviticus 7:1-38 When, Lord, we think of Jesus, crucified for us, may our hearts be filled with joyful praise and heartfelt thanksgiving.

Lord, what are we to do when we can’t find any peace of mind?

Genesis 14:1-24 Lord, what are we to do when we can’t find any peace of mind? Where are we to look? Are we to look inside of ourselves? Is that where we’ll find peace? Is there an inner peace – if we look deep enough, we’ll find it? Jesus says something very different. He says, “My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). Peace is His gift to us. It’s not something that’s already there in our hearts – if we look deep enough we’ll find it. It’s something that has to be given to us. We have to receive it from Jesus. Inner peace, peace of mind – All of this seems to be so much about ourselves: if you look deep enough, you’ll find it! What does all this have to do with You, Lord? – Nothing at all! It’s all to do with ourselves. It’s all about self-discovery. Lord, teach us Your way of peace. Show us that real peace is peace with You. Show us that this peace comes to us “through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). We can’t escape from our sin. It follows us everywhere we go. L…

The God Of Power, The God Of Love

“The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace” (Psalm 29:10-11). The Lord is “enthroned” – This is the God of power. The Lord “gives”, the Lord “blesses” – This is the God of love. When we think of the God of power, we must always remember that He is also the God of love. When we think of the God of love, we must never forget that He is also the God of power. The Lord is the King of love.

In The Wilderness ...

"In the wilderness (or the wild country)" (Numbers 1:1). "Stage by stage" (Numbers 33:2) - Moses kept a record of Israel's journey. "In the wilderness", "stage by stage" - When we read these two phrases, and think about our own journey through life, we are invited to think about where we've been, where we are, and where we're going.    Have we been in the wild country for far too long? Will we leave the wild country in the past? There's more to life than being in the wild county. This is the message of Numbers for us today. When we're in the wilderness, what we must remember is this - There's a way out of the wilderness. Where will we find the way out of the wilderness? The book of Numbers gives us God's answer. When we read about life "in the wilderness", we must remember this - We are not alone in the wilderness. God is there with us. He's with us all of the time - not just some of the time. This is w…

Lord, we can, so often, get preoccupied with the things that matter most to us ...

Genesis 29:31-30:24
Lord, we can, so often, get preoccupied with the things that matter most to us - and we forget about the things that matter most to You. We start to get comfortable, sorting things out to suit ourselves - and then You come to us with a very challenging question, "What matters most to you?" Help us, Lord, to see that pleasing You is more important than pleasing ourselves.

We think, Lord, of Your redemption, and our hearts are filled with thanksgiving - and hope.

Exodus 15:1-21 We think, Lord, of Your redemption, and our hearts are filled with thanksgiving - and hope. We think - and we thank. we look back on all that You have done for us, and we say, "Thank You, Lord." Give us the spirit of thanksgiving, the attitude of gratitude - and, with it, give us the confidence to face the future, knowing that it is more than our future. It is Your future for us.

Lord, You're leading us on to glory.

Genesis 45:1-28 Lord, You're leading us on to glory. You're taking us to a better place - a place where there will be no more weakness, a place where we will be surrounded by the strength of Your love.

Lord, You love us. You call us to love You.

Leviticus 8:1-36 Lord, You love us. You call us to love You. Help us, Lord, to grow in our love for You - to obey Your Word, to do Your will, to walk in Your way.

The Son Of God

“Truly this Man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39). Jesus Christ was no ordinary man. He was special. He was unique. He is God’s ‘only Son’ (John 3:16). He is God’s ‘beloved Son’ (Matthew 3:17; Luke 9:35). He is not only the greatest Man who ever lived. He is ‘greater than the angels’ in heaven. ‘All God’s angels’ are called to ‘worship Him’. ‘Truly this Man was the Son of God’ – In these words of faith, we hear an echo of God’s Word concerning His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ – ‘You are My Son; today I have become Your Father…I will be His Father, and He will be My Son…Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever…Sit at my right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for your feet’ (Hebrews 1:1-14). ‘Truly this Man was the Son of God’ – Let these words be your confession of faith in Christ.

The Power, The Victory, The Thanksgiving

The Power – “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power” (1 Samuel 16:13). The Victory – “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty … the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45, 47). The Thanksgiving – “I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me” (Psalm 30:1).

Lord, we are surrounded by so many temptations.

Exodus 13:17-14:31 Lord, we are surrounded by so many temptations. We cannot avoid this. There's no getting away from it. It's part-and-parcel of our life in this world. What are we to do when temptation comes our way? What are we to do when we feel the powerful pull of the world, drawing us away from You? Lord, help us to turn to You. Help us to renew our strength - in You.

We thank You, Lord, that Your salvation is greater than our sin.

Leviticus 5:1-6:30 We thank You, Lord, that Your salvation is greater than our sin. We look at Christ's sacrifice - He gave Himself in death for us. We are glad that He is our Saviour. He has taken our sin upon Himself. He gives Your salvation to us. Thank You, Lord.

“The glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:11).

“The glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:11). The house of the Lord is never to be the chief focus of our attention. The Lord of the house is to be the focus of all that we do when we gather together for worship. When we look, with admiration, at the grand cathedrals, we may wonder, “Who were they trying to impress when they built this?” When we see two hugely impressive examples of Chucrh architecture located very close to each other, we may wonder, “Is there more than a bit of the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ thing going on here?” We may wonder, “What goes on in these places?” Are they places of which it can be said, “The glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord”? or Have they become places that are not really much more than tourist attractions?” When Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem, He found that life in the Jerusalem Temple was busy with activity, but it was empty – God was not there. At the end of the book of Ezekiel, there are these …

Look To Jesus - And Learn From Him.

In Matthew 9:18-38, we read about Jesus' healing ministry. At the end of Matthew 9, there's a reminder to us that the Lord's work is to be carried on by His followers - "The harvest is large, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord who gives this harvest to send workers to harvest His crops" (Matthew 9:37-38). Jesus wasn't saying, 'Look at what I am doing and see how great I am." He was saying, 'Look at what I am doing and learn from Me - learn how to see the crowds with compassion, to see them in their trouble, to see how helpless they are - "like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36). we are to be looking at Jesus and learning from Him. We are to be looking at the world and seeing how we can serve the world for Jesus' sake (2 Corinthians 4:5).

Lord, we give all the glory to You.

Genesis 47:1-26 Lord, we give all the glory to You. We think of Jesus, crucified for us - and we say, "Thank You, Lord - You have done for us what we could never have done for ourselves." You have brought us out of the darkness of of our sin and into the light of Your salvation - out of sadness and into gladness. Help us never to forget that You have saved us. Help us to live, each day, as Your faithful servants.

Lord, we make everything so complicated.

Genesis 39:1-23
Lord, we make everything so complicated. We go our own way - and everything gets very messy. Everything would be so much simpler - if we kept our eyes on You. When we are tempted to turn away from You, help us, Lord, to keep on looking to You - and to know that we are "loved with everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3).

Two Sides Of Jesus

We're going to look at the Lord Jesus in two very different situations. We will see two sides of Him - two sides which belong together. In John 2:1-11, we see Him at a wedding, celebrating with the newly-weds, sharing with them in their happiness. In John 2:12-16, we see Him as the religious reformer, strenuously defending the purity of worship in God's House. These two sides of the Lord Jesus show us something about the purpose of life. The Westminster Shorter Catechism begins with question, "What is man's chief end (purpose)?" The answer is given, "Man's chief end (purpose) is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." Glorifying God and enjoying God - the two belong together. In the Christian life, there is both privilege and responsibility - the privilege of being a Christian and the responsibility of being a Christian. In John 2, we learn about the joy of being a Christian and the seriousness of being a Christian. We learn that the joy of being a Christian…

No Mighty Triumph For Satan, Abundant Blessing From God

The apostles pray for God's help (Acts 4:23-31). The believers share their property (Acts 4:32-37). The Lord is doing a mighty work among His people. At the heart of this work of God, there is "the Holy Spirit" (Acts 4:31). God was doing a mighty work - and He was protecting it. Satan was trying to destroy the work of God - but God was one step ahead of him. This work must go on. It must not be spoiled. Following on from the act of divine judgment (Acts 5:1-11), there was great blessing (Acts 5:12-16). The judgment came so that Satan may be prevented from having a mighty triumph over God's people. This judgment paved the way for the blessing. First, there was God's purifying judgment. Then, there was His abundant blessing.

"Look, I'm standing at the door ... " (Revelation 3:20).

Are you ‘looking for a better country - a heavenly one’ (Hebrews 11:16)? ‘God has put eternity into man’s mind’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). In every human heart, there’s ‘a God-shaped blank’. Jesus came to give us ‘life’ - ‘abundant life’, ‘eternal life’ (John 10:10; John 17:3; 1 John 5:11). Without Jesus, our lives are empty. The ‘longing for a better country’ can only be satisfied by Him. He is God’s ‘foretaste of glory divine’ (Mission Praise, 59). Jesus stands at the door of every human heart. He knocks. He waits for our answer. He says, ‘Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to My voice and opens the door, I’ll come in...’ (Revelation 3:20). Don’t ‘shrink back’ (Hebrews 10:39). Invite Him into your heart now.

"Now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).

In our thinking about the Lord’s Return, it is very important that we do not forget that the decision between salvation and judgment is one which must be made here and now. The Bible speaks of the Day of the Lord’s Return as a Day of salvation for the Lord’s believing people. The Lord’s Return will also bring a Day of judgment for all who turn their backs on the Saviour. The Bible also speaks of another day of salvation, another day of judgment. That day is today. This is precisely what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:2 - “Now is the day of salvation.” Now is the time for making your decision for Christ. Now is the time for faith in the Saviour. Jesus underlines the importance of our present response to Him. He does this, in John 3:18, when He speaks of those who are already under judgment because of their unbelief: “he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God.” The Lord awaits for our response now. May God he…

So many things are changing, Lord.

Genesis 44:1-34 So many things are changing, Lord. How are we to live in a changing world? We trust in Your unchanging love. In our changing world, Your love remains the same - unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable.  You are also the changing God - the God who changes us. Your love is a changing love. Your love changes us. Help us, in our ever-changing world, to keep on praying for the best kind of change - being changed by You - changed by Your love. Help us to become less self-centred and more Christ-centred.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus ... "

More looking at Jesus, and less looking at ourselves - that's what we need. The more we look at ourselves, the more discouraged and depressed we get. We see what we're really like - and we don't like it. Failure - that's what we see, and it tears us apart. We wish we were so much better than we are. Becoming all that God wants us to be - it all seems so hopeless, when we're constantly looking in at ourselves rather than looking out from ourselves to Jesus. How can we be changed? Let Jesus do it. Look at Him - not once in a while. Look at Him - again and again. See how wonderful He is, and let Him change you. We can't change ourselves. Real change doesn't begin with "I." It comes to us from Jesus - "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. look full on His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

A Call For A Christ-Centred Life

The concluding message, preached by Joshua, is a call for the people to exalt the Lord. They make a definite and public commitment to the Lord. The Christ-centredness of real commitment to the Lord is summed up in the words of John the Baptist: "He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30). We must confess Christ and honour Him - "The One who comes from heaven is above all" (John 3:31). We must listen to what He says to us - "The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit" (John 3:34). It will not be easy to live a life of true commitment to Christ. Nevertheless, we have God's promise: "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you" (Psalm 55:22).

Take Your Stand - In The Name Of Christ And The Power Of Christ.

In Matthew 8:1-17, we see Jesus' healing ministry. There are three miracles - healing people who were suffering from "a skin disease" (Matthew 8:1-4), paralysis (Matthew 8:5-13) and "a fever" (Matthew 8:14-15). After these three miracles, we have a more general statement about the ministry of casting out demons (Matthew 8:16-17). This is followed by Matthew 8:18 - "Now, when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He ordered His disciples to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee." Jesus was moving from place to place, taking His ministry to more people. In Matthew 8:19-34, we learn about discipleship (Matthew 8:19-22), peace (Matthew 8:23-27) and deliverance (Matthew 8:28-34). How sad it is that this chapter ends with these words: "Everyone from the city went to meet Jesus. When they saw Him, they begged him to leave their territory" (Matthew 8:34). If it had ended with the words, "Everyone went out to meet Jesus", we wo…

Paradise Lost! Paradise Regained?

Genesis 3 - From the majestic perfection of God and the privileged responsibility of humanity, we now move to the evil subtlety of Satan. An intruder has sneaked into the privileged place between God, the Creator, and mankind, His creation.
Chapter 2 ends with the absence of shame. Chapter 3 begins with the presence of Satan. The work of Satan, successfully executed, ensures that chapter ends rather differently from chapter 2 – “the Lord God sent the man out of the Garden of Eden” (v. 23).
This was “Paradise Lost”. Was there a way to “Paradise Regained”? There are two answers to this question: “No” and “Yes”. Taking ourselves as the starting-point, the answer is “No”. God will not permit us to take salvation into our own hands (v. 24). Starting with God, the answer is “Yes”. This is the answer of verse 15: Christ (the woman’s descendant will be crucified (the bruising of His heel), but the outcome of this will be the defeat of Satan (the crushing of his head).

More Than A Prophet?

“A great prophet … Are you the one who is coming?” (Luke 7:16,19-20). “A great prophet” – This may be the beginning of our faith, but it’s not the end of our faith.
“A great prophet” – This is the first stage of our faith. We sense that there’s something different about Jesus. Then, we begin to ask the question, “How different is Jesus?” We start to wonder, “Is Jesus more than a prophet?”
“Are you the one who is  coming?” Where does this question come from? It comes to us, when we start thinking, “There’s something different about Jesus.”
We ask the question. God gives His answer. It is an answer that arises in our hearts, as we think about Jesus, as we think, “This is more than a prophet. This is my Saviour.”

Teach Us, Lord, To Live For You.

"I am filled with the power of the Lord's Spirit" (Micah 3:8). This is what makes true ministry of God's Word so different from 'prophecy' that doesn't come from the Lord. Without the power of the Lord, there can be no Word from the Lord. We need the Word, and we need the power. "Let's go to the mountain of the Lord ...He will teach us His ways so that we may live by them" (Micah 4:2). We are taught by the Lord so that we might live for Him. Teaching and living - they belong together. We do not learn from God's Word so that we can amass more head-knowledge. We pray for a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ - a life-changing knowledge that gives us the strength that we need to live for the glory of God.

Lord, when our hold on You is weak ...

Genesis 26:1-35
Lord, when our hold on You is weak, help us to remember that Your hold on us is strong. Often, we get bogged down in our sin. Lift us up by Your grace. Give us strength to rise above our sin - strength to become all that You want us to be.

Often, Lord, we fail You - and we wonder why You bother with us.

Exodus 4:1-31 Often, Lord, we fail You - and we wonder why You bother with us. We thank You, Lord,that You never fail us. When we let You down, You lift us up. Help us, Lord, not to be shaped by our failure. Help us to be transformed by Your love and power. Help us to respond to Your call to "attempt great things for You and expect great things from You" (William Carey).

The Mercy Of God And The Ministry Of His Word

In the work of ministry, we are often discouraged by the lack of response. May God help us to remember that “we have received this ministry by the mercy of God” (2 Corinthians 4:1). May He give us the wonderful privilege of seeing more people responding to the Word of God which, by the power of the Holy Spirit, “gives the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Lord, help us to have faith in You.

Genesis 47:27-48:28 Lord, help us to have faith in You - faith that is humble, and faith that is confident. Lord, give us a humble faith. Give us the humility that comes from knowing that You are God - and we're not God! Lord, give us the confidence which is confidence in You - and not self-confidence!

Lord, we thank You that Your love is "an everlasting love."

Genesis 43:1-34 Lord, we thank You that Your love is "an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). Human love can be strong. It can be weak. Human love can come to an end. Your love is always strong. Your love never comes to an end. Your love is "everlasting love" - the only "everlasting love"!

Lord, there is work to be done.

Exodus 38:1-31 Lord, there is work to be done. It's Your work. Help us all to play our part. We leave it to someone else - and it never gets done. Change us, Lord. Spectators can become workers. Help us not to hang back - on the sidelines. You're calling us to come into the centre of Your will and Your work. When we're tempted to stand back and watch, help us to come forward and work. Help us to remember this: "There's a work of Jesus none but we can do."

We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, is "pure gold."

Exodus 37:1-29 We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, is "pure gold." There's nothing better than Jesus. there's no-one better than Him. He's the very best. What Jesus has done for us - this is "pure gold." He died for us. He was raised to life for us. This is Good News. It's the best news we could ever hear. Lord, help us not to get bogged down in the bad news of our sin. Lord, lift us up with the Good News of our Saviour.

The Love Of Christ - For Us, His Bride

Christ loves us. He has given Himself for us. He calls us His ‘Bride’ (Ephesians 5:25-27; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:2, 9).

No-one else can ever be more important and more wonderful than Jesus.

Knowing the Lord Jesus Christ is more important and more wonderful than everything else (Philippians 3:8).
Paul's testimony lifts us above the shallow superficiality of the worldly way of thinking. Too often, we attach too much importance to the things that aren't really that important. We need to be reminded that Jesus is the most important Person of all. No-one else can ever be more important and more wonderful than Jesus.

Standing!

“I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the House of the Lord.’ Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:2).
* Standing – in the House of the Lord! In life’s many trying times, we are put to the test – Will we stand? Will we fall? * Standing – in the house of the Lord! Let’s never imagine that we can stand in our own strength – “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12). * Standing – in the House of the Lord: We stand when we put our trust in the Lord. We stand when we build our life on Him.

Sin Comes From Satan. Salvation Comes From God.

Sin, Judgment … And Salvation (Genesis 3:1-24)

Genesis 3:1   –  “The serpent” (Satan) raises doubts – “Has God said?

Genesis 3:2-3   –  The woman tells Satan what “God has said.”

Genesis 3:4   –  Satan contradicts God’s Word. Note the progression from questioning God’s Word to contradicting His Word.

Genesis 3:5   –  “Your eyes will be opened.” You will see everything in a different way. You will know “good” as something you’ve lost. All you’ll have left is “evil.” That’s not exactly how Satan said it would turn out. What can you expect from someone who contradicts God’s Word? – Nothing but lies!

Genesis 3:6   –  This is the beginning of sin. We listen to Satan. We do what he says – instead of listening to God and doing what He says.

Genesis 3:7   –  “Their eyes were opened.” They saw what they had become through their disobedience to God’s Word.

Genesis 3:8   –  Sin leads to hiding from God.

Genesis 3:9   –  “Where are you?” Why is God looking for them? Is this nothing more than the voi…

Travelling Through God's Word: Genesis

Genesis
We have been created by God. We have been created to be like God. "God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light." We are to let His light shine. His light is the light of His love. It is the light of life. Let there be light, love and life. May light, love and life be seen in us.
"You may freely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not ear, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." A command is not to be discussed. It is to be obeyed. Do what God tells you to do, and you will be blessed. Go your own way, instead of God's way, and there will be no blessing. God's command is also His promise and His warning.
The "serpent" begins with questioning, and moves quickly on to contradicting. He's a liar - from the beginning to the end. There will be conflict between "the serpent" and "the seed of the woman" (Christ) - "you (the serpent) shall…

When someone stops trusting in Jesus and following Him ...

1 John 5:4 tells us that "whatever is born of God overcomes the world; our faith overcomes the world." When someone stops trusting in Jesus and following Him, we must allow for the possibility that their "faith" was only a superficial faith, a "faith" that "endures for a time" but doesn't "endure to the end" (see Jesus' parable of the sower - Mark 4).
In John 6:66-68, we read about people turning back from following Jesus. Jesus let them go away because they were never really His true followers. Jesus asked His disciples, "Will you also go away?" Peter replied, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (see also John 6:37,40,44). Peter failed the Lord. He was restored. What the Lord did for Peter. He can do for us. He can lead us on to an obedient faith, a courageous faith and a fruitful faith.
We'd like to think that everyone who has professed faith in Christ was really…

‘Devote yourselves to prayer.’

God calls us to pray - ‘Devote yourselves to prayer’. We are to pray with concern - ‘watchful’. We are to pray with gratitude - ‘thankful’ (Colossians 4:2). We are to pray for those who preach God’s Word. Thank God for the past. Trust Him for the future. Remember - the important thing is the ‘message’ (Colossians 4:3). The messengers are just ‘jars of clay’. The message is the ‘treasure’ (2 Corinthians 4:7). The messengers must not draw attention to themselves. They must direct attention away from themselves to Jesus Christ - ‘We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord’ (2 Corinthians 4:5). We are to pray that the message will be ‘clear’ (Colossians 4:4). Pray for good preaching - preaching which does you good, giving you good cause to say in your heart, ‘For me it is good to be near God’ (Psalm 73:28). Pray for preaching which glorifies God.

Lord, give us Your wisdom.

Genesis 25:19-34
Lord, give us Your wisdom. Help us to see that walking in Your way is better than getting our own way. When we are being drawn away from Your way, bring us back again - back to the way of obedience, back to the way of blessing.

Lord, we thank You that You don't give up on us - even when we don't pay much attention to You.

Genesis 34:1-31
Lord, we thank You that You don't give up on us - even when we don't pay much attention to You. We can become so self-centred. Everything revolves around ourselves. You keep on coming to us. You come to us in love.  You're calling us back to Yourself. You're calling us to bring You back into the centre of our lives. Lord, may it be less of self and more of You.

Pain, Prayer, Protection, Peace

The Psalmist is experiencing great pain. His honour is being insulted; his enemies are spying on him; he is being harassed by troublemakers (Psalm 4:2; Psalm 5:8; Psalm 6:8). As well as pain, there is prayer, protection and peace. He prays with confidence in God - “The Lord has heard my plea for mercy. The Lord accepts my prayer” (Psalm 6:9). He stands upon God’s promise - “The Lord protects those who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 5:11). He rests in the peace of God (Psalm 4:8).

Lord, You call us to serve You.

Exodus 31:1-32:14 Lord, You call us to serve You. How are we to serve You? How can we serve You? - Our sin keeps on getting in the way. We start off well - and then, we take our eyes off Jesus, and things start to go badly. Lord, we need Your Spirit. He is the Holy Spirit. How can we possibly serve You - if we are not learning to walk with You in the way of holiness. Before we pray, "Help us to serve You better", help us to pray, "Lead us in the way of holiness."

Lord, help us to prepare for the future – Your future.

Genesis 25:1-18 Lord, help us to prepare for the future – Your future. Life without a future is no life at all. Often, we feel like we are stuck in the prison of the present. You lift up our eyes. You show us Your future. You fill our pathway with Your light. It is Your light that makes our future very bright – brighter than we can put into words, brighter than we can even imagine. Lead us, Lord, into Your future. Help us to walk with You on Your pathway to glory – Your eternal glory.

Lord, what are we to do when we're going through a hard time?

Exodus 1:1-2:10
Lord, what are we to do when we're going through a hard time? Hard times can be the breaking of us - or the making of us. We can blame You - or we can trust You. Help us to trust You - to know that You are near, even when it feels like You are far away.

"“King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16)

Jesus was tempted. Jesus is victorious. He is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16) – and He’s at work in us, bringing us through temptation and into victory. We don’t live in constant victory. Often, we’re defeated. We need to learn to listen to God’s Word and be led into the pathway of victory. It’s a lifelong learning process. There’s never a time when our ‘education’ is complete. Throughout our life, we must keep on coming to the Lord, confessing our need of His cleansing and power and praying that He will make us more truly and more fully what He wants us to be – “Cleanse me from my sin, Lord. Put Thy power within, Lord. Take me as I am, Lord, and make me all Thine own. Keep me day by day, Lord, underneath Thy sway, Lord. Make my heart Thy palace, and Thy royal throne” (Mission Praise, 82). May God bless each of us as we read His Word and learn to trust the Lord to give you victory over temptation.
“Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
each victory…

Keep On Speaking The Word Of The Lord - And Keep On Walking In His Ways.

"How horrible it will be ... " (Amos 6:1,3-6,13) - This is a prophecy concerning God's judgment. Such words need to be heard, if people are to be turned back into walking in the ways of the Lord. If we don't hear of God's judgment, we are likely to keep on walking in our own ways. There needs to be "an alarm to the unconverted" (Joseph Alleine). There needs to be an alarm to the converted. The danger of remaining apathetic and unconverted is not the only danger. There is also the danger that, after being converted, we become apathetic and backslidden. God is calling us to turn to Him. He's calling us to keep on being turned towards Him. "Almighty Lord, please forgive us!" (Amos 7:2) - This is the prayer that the Lord is waiting to hear and answer. "Almighty Lord, please stop!" (Amos 7:5) - This is a prayer for God's mercy. We come to Him, deeply aware of our sin and His judgment. We cry to Him for mercy. Why sho…

Physical Blindness - And Spiritual Blindness

“Many warned him to be quiet, but he cried out all the more … ” (Mark 10:48).
There were many people who tried to silence blind Bartimaeus. Here was the voice of prayer – and they were saying, “Shut up’! Thank God – he didn’t shut up. He shouted out. They more they said, “Shut up”, the more he shouted out. Because our praise is loud, that doesn’t mean that it’s real – but what kind of worship if we can hardly burst a paper bag! Let’s lift up our voices to the Lord. Why? Because we want to be loud? – No! There’s something much more important than how loud we’re singing. It’s this – how much we are lifiting up our hearts to the Lord. We read the story of blind Bartimaeus, and we ask the question: Who was really blind – Bartimaeus or the people who were trying to shut him up? They could see Bartimaeus, but they couldn’t see that he was doing the one thing that really mattered. He was calling upon the Lord. They were busy criticizing him. He kept on calling on the Lord. They w…

Going Back To The Beginning

“In the beginning, God”  – The first four words of the Bible take us back to the point where we can go no further, back to the eternity of God.
What do we find when we are taken back – into the heart of the eternal God?
We find love. We discover that “God is love.”
Creation is love because God is love. Before God made us, He loved us.
The love which we find in the opening chapters of Genesis is the love that is proclaimed throughout God’s Word – from Genesis to Revelation.
It’s the great love of God for us. It’s the love that never ends. It’s the love that goes on and on.
* How do we get to know God the Creator? How do we come to know that His heart is full of love for us?
In Genesis 1, three words are repeated over and over again: “And God said”.
These words emphasize the creative power of the Word of God.
God created through His Word. He proclaims His love to us through Jesus Christ, the living Word of God. He declares His love for us in the Scriptures, the written Word of God…

So often, Lord, we get preoccupied with ourselves.

Exodus 30:1-38 So often, Lord, we get preoccupied with ourselves. Our words say that You are more important than anyone else. Often, our lives tell a very different story - 'It's all about us. It's all about what pleases us.' How can we be changed? Lead us to the Cross of Your Son, Jesus. Show us Jesus - dying for us. Teach us to live for Him. Lift us out of our weakness and failure into Your strength and victory - and help us to praise You with hearts that are becoming more God-centred and less self-centred.

Lord, we thank You for Jesus, our Saviour.

Genesis 49:1-27 Lord, we thank You for Jesus, our Saviour. In Him, You have given us "every spiritual blessing" (Ephesians 1:3). What blessings You have given to us - the forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit living in us, eternal life with You (Ephesians 1:7,13-14). Help us to praise You today. Help us to praise You every day.

A Strong Faith? or A Strong God?

“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.

“Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”

There is to be prayer from “every one who lives in the land” (Joel 1:14). It is to be personal prayer - “O Lord, I cry to You for help!” (Joel 1:19). These two belong together - prayer for the nation and personal prayer. This is expressed so well in the words: “O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee. Send a revival. Start the work in me.” We hear the words, “Return to the Lord, your God” (Joel 2:13). They are followed by some wonderful words about the character of God - “He is merciful and compassionate, patient and always ready to forgive and to change His plans about disaster” (Joel 2:13). How do we know that God is like this? We look at what He has done for us - “Be glad and rejoice. The Lord has done great things!” (Joel 2:21). Looking at all that the Lord has done for us, we trust His promise: “Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32). This salvation is more than forgiveness for past sins. It’s more than the future glory of being in God’s eve…

Let's Give God Our Very Best.

Ephesians 4:7-5:14
God wants us to ‘grow up in every way into Christ’ (15). We are to ‘walk in love’ (2), a life which is ‘pleasing to the Lord’ (5:10).
It is so easy for us to settle for something less than God’s very best. We settle down into a state of spiritual complacency.
What does God have to say about this? - ‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God’ (30). He gives us His wake-up call: ‘Awake, O sleeper…’ (5:14). God says to us, ‘Awake, awake, put on your strength… Shake yourself from the dust, arise’ (Isaiah 52:1-2).
Have you become ‘lukewarm’? - ‘Be zealous and repent’. Christ says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him’ (Revelation 3:16,19-20).

Salvation, Joy, Victory

Jesus is the way of salvation, joy and victory. Jesus is the way of salvation – Concerning “the Name of Jesus Christ”, Peter tells us that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10, 12).Jesus is the way of joy – Jesus tells us, “In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).Jesus is the way of victory – Paul gives to us this word of encouragement: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Lord, sometimes, the things that happen to us don’t seem to make sense – to us!

Genesis 11:10-32 Lord, sometimes, the things that happen to us don’t seem to make sense – to us! We try to tell the story of our life. We try to make sense of it all. We try – but we fail. Why? – We don’t know the full story. Sometimes, we feel like we’re living on Dead End Street! You say to us, “You’re missing the point! You don’t need to understand what it’s all about. You can leave that to Me.” Help us, Lord, to know that we’re not alone – trying to make sense of our life. Help us to know that You’re with us. Help us to think of Jesus. He is “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).  When everything seems to be so confusing, help us to remember that Jesus understands us. He knows what we’re like – and He hasn’t stopped loving us. He never will! He loves us – and He’s praying for us: ”We praise You, our glorious Lord and Saviour, and are for ever glad that now there is in heaven One who understands and intercedes for us” (Common Order, Prayer for Ascension).

Great Boldness And Great Blessing - From Our Great Saviour

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 advance…