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Showing posts from May, 2016

Our love for the Lord comes from His love for us.

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God" (Philippians 1:9-11).
Our love for the Lord comes from His love for us. His love reaches us. His love changes us. With Jesus as our Saviour, our life changes direction. It's less of self - and more of Him. We're moving towards "the day of Christ." We're not there yet. We've got a long way to go. We find it so difficult to look beyond where we are right now. Jesus is very different from us. He looks right on to the end. He sees as we will be at the time of His Return. Now, we catch only a glimpse of the glory of Christ. Then, we will see Him in the fullness of His glory. What we shall be is still to be fully revealed to us. Saved by grace, promote…

The Lord is my Shepherd ...

Psalm 23:1-6

“The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1). He speaks to us. He calls us to Himself. He leads us on with Himself (John 10:3). He is all that we need for walking the walk as well as talking the talk. He works in us through the “oil” of the Holy Spirit and the “table” and “cup” of Christ (Psalm 23:5). The completion of God’s work in us is beyond this life. It’s more than “as long as I live.” It’s “forever” (Psalm 23:6).

The sinner becomes the singer ...

Psalm 40:1-3 The sinner becomes the singer, the servant and the soul winner.  * “a desolate pit”, “the muddy clay” - This is our sin. We bring our sin to the Saviour.  * “a new song” - This is our song of salvation. This is the song that our Saviour has given to us.  * “Many will see...” We do not sing for ourselves. We do not live for ourselves. We live for the Lord. We are to win people for Him. Before a song can be a song of praise, it must be a song of salvation. We praise God because He has saved us.

Building On Christ - And Living For Him

“Whoever does these things will never be shaken” (Psalm 15:5). Jesus Christ is the Rock upon which our faith is built. Building on Christ means more than believing the right things about Him. It also means living for Him. This is the message taught by Jesus in his parable of the wise man and the foolish man – “everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock… But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (Matthew 7:24,26). What  are we to believe? – This is not the only question we must ask. If our faith is real, we must move on from there to another very important question: How are we to live?

Life's Disasters And God's Love

“Maybe the nation of Judah will hear about all the disasters that I plan to bring on them, and they will turn from their wicked ways. Then I will forgive their wickedness and their sins” (Jeremiah 36:3). Even in all life’s disasters, we must never lose sight of God’s love. He sends disasters. This is not because He hates us. He loves us. Through these disasters, He’s calling us back to Himself. He’s calling us to receive His forgiveness.

The Lord saves me.

“I call on God, and the Lord saves me” (Psalm 55:16) - This is the Psalmist’s testimony. It is followed by his call to others to turn to the Lord and discover how good He is: “Turn your burdens over to the Lord and He will take care of you” (Psalm 55:22). “I praise the Word of God, I trust God, I am not afraid. What can mere flesh and blood (mortals) do to me?” (Psalm 56:4,10-11). “My heart is confident, O God, I want to sing and make music... I want to give thanks to You among the people, O Lord, I want to make music to praise You among the nations because Your mercy is as high as the heavens. Our truth reaches the skies. May You be honoured above the heavens, O God. Let Your glory extend over the whole earth” (Psalm 57:7,9-11). As we praise God, He leads us forward in His triumph.

Help And Hope - From The Lord

God is calling us to live as "righteous people" (Psalm 58:10-11). When we face hostile persecution, our only hope is in the Lord: “God is my Stronghold, my merciful God” (Psalm 59:9,17). Looking to the Lord, we pray, “Give us help against the enemy because human assistance is worthless” (Psalm 60:11). Trusting in the Lord, we have this confidence: “With God, we will display great strength. He will trample our enemies” (Psalm 60:12). Knowing that god is with us as the God of our salvation, we can say, with glad assurance of faith, “I will triumph!” (Psalm 60:6). We are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). Whatever Satan does, he will not succeed. We have the victory in Christ.

The Way Backward Is The Way Forward.

The way backward is the way forward. What does this mean?
If we are to have something worth saying to today's world, we must go back to the Bible, back to God's Word.
Some people keep on telling us, "You need to move with the times." What are we to say about this? Moving with the times is a very dangerous thing to do. We may find ourselves moving into greater unbelief and deeper uncertainty. We may find ourselves moving away from the foundation of our faith, which is Jesus Christ. Our faith needs to be rooted in Jesus Christ. If we move away from the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have nothing to offer to anyone.
We must build on the apostolic doctrine, as it is set out for us in the Scriptures. The apostolic preaching of the gospel must be allowed to guide the faith and practice of the modern church. If the connection between hearing the Word of God and being the church of God is broken, this will lead to spiritual suicide. the church which refuses to take Jesus Christ …

We thank You, Lord, that victory comes from You ...

Joshua 6:1-27 We thank You, Lord, that victory comes from You - "I have handed Jericho over to you" (Joshua 6:2). Help us to receive Your victory by faith - "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down" (Hebrews 11:30). We don't achieve this victory in our own strength. You give us Your promise of victory. Help us to believe Your promise - to receive the victory as Your gift, to stand upon Your promise and claim the victory that You give to us.

Lord, we thank You that Your Son, Jesus, comes to us as more than our personal Saviour.

Joshua 5:1-15 Lord, we thank You that Your Son, Jesus, comes to us as more than our personal Saviour. He comes to us as the "commander of the army of the Lord" (Joshua 5:14). We thank You that "Christ, the Royal Master, leads against the foe." We thank You that He leads us "on to victory." Help us to be His faithful followers on His pathway of victory.

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

Joshua 4:1-24 Lord, You have blessed us so much. Help us never to forget this. We look at the world You have made for us - and we say, "Thank You, Lord." We look at the Saviour You have sent to us - and we say, "Thank You, Lord." Why must we keep on remembering You? - We "remember" so that we might learn to fear You (Joshua 4:23-24). We remember so that we may have hope for the future - "times of refreshing" (Acts 3:19).

Help us, Lord, to be active for You ... and to wait on You.

Joshua 3:1-17 Help us, Lord, to be active for You - "the people who know their God will be strong and take action" (Daniel 11:32) -  and to wait upon You - "those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength" (Isaiah 40:31). We need both - prayer and action, seeking Your will and doing Your will. Give us wisdom to know Your will, and courage to do Your will.

Help us, Lord, to "give a friendly welcome."

Joshua 2:1-24 Help us, Lord, to "give a friendly welcome" (Hebrews 11:31). What a difference the friendly welcome makes! It's the word of encouragement that makes us feel loved. It's the act of kindness that lets us know that love is more than words. Lord, You are our Father. Help us to be like You - "when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him" (Luke 15:20). What amazing grace! Before the confession of sin - "Father, I have sinned... " (Luke 15:21), there is the friendly welcome. It's Your grace that inspires our confession of sin. It's Your grace that leads us into the joy of Your forgiveness. It's not only joy for us. It's joy for You - "my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate" (Luke 15:24).

We sing to You, Lord.

Deuteronomy 31:14-32:18 We sing to You, Lord. We sing our song of praise. It's the song of Your salvation. It's the song that gives glory to You. May our song of praise be more than words. May it be the song that arises from our hearts. May it be the song that comes from lives that are being transformed by Your grace.

Lord, You are not a god who keeps his distance from us.

Deuteronomy 30:1-31:13 Lord, You are not a god who keeps his distance from us. You are not a god who keeps his silence.You come near to us. You speak Your Word to us (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). How do we know that You are near to us? How do we know that You speak Your Word to us? Jesus is "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). He is "the Word made flesh" (John 1:14). Thank You for Jesus - He comes near to us and He speaks to us. Help us, Lord, to treasure His presence and to respond to His Word.

Lord, Your Word speaks to us about the "secret things" and "the things that are revealed."

Deuteronomy 29:1-29 Lord, Your Word speaks to us about the "secret things" and "the things that are revealed" (Deuteronomy 29:29). There are some "things" that we will never understand. These "things" belong to You, Lord. Help us to focus our attention on "the things that are revealed", the teaching that comes to us from "the holy Scriptures", the Gospel which brings us to Jesus, our Saviour - calling us to put our faith in Him and live in obedience to Him (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Why, Lord, do You speak to us the Word of warning and the promise of blessing?

Deuteronomy 28:25-68 Why, Lord, do You speak to us the Word of warning and the promise of blessing? There is a good way to which we must turn - and there's also a bad way from which we turn. How can we really appreciate and embrace the good way if we do not see the clear contrast between the good way and the bad way? Help us, Lord, to choose the good way - to choose Jesus, who is "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6).

Lord, You speak to us Your Word of warning - and Your promise of blessing.

Deuteronomy 27:11-28:24 Lord, You speak to us Your Word of warning - and Your promise of blessing. You call us back from the way of disobedience - and on to the pathway of obedience and blessing. Where does the blessing come from? Does it come from our obedience? No! It comes from Your love. It comes from Your promise. Your love reaches us in our sin. Your blessing increases in us as we learn to turn from our sin and give You first place in our lives.

Praying Through God's Word: Micah

Micah 1:1-2:13 We thank You, Lord, that Micah was a fearless preacher of Your Word. His message was not popular: ‘Let the Lord God be a witness against you.’ He was a forthright preacher of Your Word. He knew that the people wouldn’t want to hear what he had to say to them. He demanded that they listen to him. This wasn’t only Micah’s word. It was Your word, Lord. That’s why Micah said, ‘Hear, O peoples, all of you. Listen, O earth and all who are in it’ (Micah 2:2). Teach us, Lord, that we cannot afford to ignore Your Word. Help us to listen to Your Word. You speak Your Word against us. You say to us, ‘You cannot save yourselves’ (Micah 2:3). You speak Your Word against us so that we might learn to rejoice in Your Word of salvation: ‘I will bring you together like sheep returning to the fold’ (Micah 2:12).
Micah 3:1-5:1
We thank You, Lord, for the words that Micah speaks to those ‘who hate good and love evil’ (Micah 3:2). He calls upon them to change their way of living.…

Praying Through God's Word: Leviticus

Leviticus 1:1-2:16 We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). In His death for us, we see Your love for us. Help us to come to the Cross of Christ. Help us to worship You in the beauty of holiness. Help us to celebrate Your love in the spirit of thanksgiving.
Leviticus 3:1-4:35 We thank You, Lord, that "we have peace with You through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). We thank You that "Jesus is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14). This peace is not something that comes from within ourselves. It comes to us from outside of ourselves. It comes from above. It comes to us from You. It's given to us. It's Your gift. We cannot give this gift to ourselves. We can only receive it by faith - faith in Jesus, our Saviour.
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 ou…

Praying Through God's Word: Genesis

Genesis 1:1-3 Lord, help us to get our priorities right - Your priorities. May our lives be more centred on You - less centred on ourselves. Help us to listen for Your Word - not to jump straight in with our own words. Help us to open our hearts to Your Holy Spirit. May He move among us - in power, in love, in holiness, in victory. Transform our life, O Lord - May we live as a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). May we know the great blessing of knowing that Jesus, our Saviour, is always "God with us" (Matthew 1:23).
Genesis 1:4-13
Lord, when You speak to us, help us to say, ‘Your will be done’ (Matthew 6:10).
‘Let it be to me according to Your Word’ (Luke 1:38) - This was Mary’s prayer. May it also be our prayer. By ourselves, we are helpless and hopeless - Without Your help, we have no hope of doing Your will and pleasing You. We need Your Holy Spirit - May the Spirit’s ‘living water’ flow in us (John 7:37-39).Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Your Holy Spirit - He giv…