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Showing posts from July, 2016

A New Song - A Song Of Salvation

The world sings its songs. They do not sing the song of the Lord. There is a song which can only be sung by those who have been saved by the Lord. It is "a new song." It is the song of "salvation." Saved by the Lord, we sing to Him our song of "thanksgiving." We think of what the Lord has done for us and we say, "Praise the Lord!" (Psalm 149:1).

Lord, without Your help, we are nothing and we can do nothing.

Psalm 5:1-12
Lord, without Your help, we are nothing and we can do nothing. We need You, Lord. We can never be what You call us to be if we don’t come to You and receive strength from You. We come to You in our weakness. It is the weakness of our sin. We come to receive Your strength. It is the strength of Your salvation.

Teach us, Lord, that what You have done for us is always so much greater than anything we could ever do for You.

Leviticus 25:25-55 Teach us, Lord, that what You have done for us is always so much greater than anything we could ever do for You. You gave Your Son, Jesus, to be our Saviour. Your Holy Spirit has come to live in our hearts. He's changing us. He's making us more like Jesus. You give us the privilege of serving You - sharing, with others, the wonderful love of Jesus. You've done so much for us. You've given so much to us. What have we done to deserve all of this? - Nothing! It's Your gift. We can only say, "Thank You, Lord."

From Revelation To Revival

Ezekiel 37:1-14God calls us to speak His Word. First, we must receive His Gospel. We must see ourselves as sinners. We must see Jesus as our Saviour. The Word of the Lord is to be encouraging, challenging and life-changing. We will not always be on the mountain-top. Often, we will be down in the valley. We will need to be lifted up by the Lord.
As we move from the world of the Bible to the world of today, we must ask the question, “Can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3), and we must listen to God’s answer to this question. Humanly speaking, the answer is “No.” God gives us a different answer. He says, “Yes.” God’s answer is given by grace. It is to be spoken in faith. It is the answer that comes to us when the Spirit of the Lord is at work in us (Ezekiel 37:1). It is the answer that comes from revelation. It is the answer that leads to revival.

The Lord has saved us. Let's live for Him.

Deuteronomy 14:1-15:23 “The Lord has chosen you to be His own special possession” (Deuteronomy 14:2). This is a great blessing – We have been saved by grace (Ephesians 2:5,8). “You are people who are holy to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 14:21). Those who have been saved by the Lord are to live for Him (Ephesians 2:10). “Be generous to the poor and needy” (Deuteronomy 15:11) – Living for the Lord involves showing kindness to others. We have been loved by the Lord. We are to love others.

Lord, help us not to get bogged down in what’s happening to us right now.

Psalm 6:1-10
Lord, help us not to get bogged down in what’s happening to us right now. Help us to lift up our eyes and see Jesus. Help us not only to see Him as a figure from the past – a man who lived a long time ago. Help us to see Him as the Lord who is coming to us from the future, coming to us from the glory coming to us from heaven. coming with His salvation, coming to establish Your eternal Kingdom.

Lord, help us to listen for the voice of Your love – and not to be deceived, discouraged, and distressed by words that come to us from Satan.

Job 25:1-27:6 Lord, we hear biting sarcasm in Job’s response to his ‘comforters’: “How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength!” (Job 26:2). We hear Job’s searching question: “With whose help have you uttered words, and whose spirit has me forth from you?” (Job 26:4), and we pray, “Lord, help us to listen for the voice of Your love – and not to be deceived, discouraged, and distressed by words that come to us from Satan.”

Sometimes, Lord, we feel like we’re in a deep, dark hole.

Psalm 7:1-17 Sometimes, Lord, we feel like we’re in a deep, dark hole. We don’t want to be in this place – but we are! Help us to know that You’re there with us. You’re not there to blame us for getting into this mess. You’re there to assure us that there is hope.

When Your Problems Threaten To Overwhelm You, Remember This: God Has ‘Redeemed Us By His Great Power And His Mighty Hand.’

Nehemiah 1:1-2:18
‘You see the trouble we are in’- How do you react when the going gets tough? Do you collapse in despair and succeed only in making your troubles seem even bigger than they really are? There is a better way of dealing with our problems. Believing that ‘the hand of his God was upon him for good’, Nehemiah looks at the problem - ‘Jerusalem lies in ruins’- and sets about solving it - ‘Come. let us build the wall of Jerusalem’ (2:17-18). Our problems may be great. Our God is greater. When your problems threaten to overwhelm you, remember this: God has ‘redeemed us by His great power and His mighty hand’(1:3-6,10). There is no greater problem than our sin and God has dealt with that problem - Christ has ‘put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself’(Hebrews 9:26). ‘Pack up your troubles’ and take them to Jesus!

Nehemiah 2:19-4:23
Serving the Lord is not easy. There are always those who ‘mock and ridicule’ the Lord’s servants (2:19; 4:1-3). What are we to do when we …

Praying Through God's Word: Philippians

Philippians 1:1-2:11 Lord, there are times when we feel like we can’t go on, times when we feel like giving up. When we feel like this, speak to us Your Word of encouragement: “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Philippians 2:12-3:11 Lord, we have Your command – “Work out your salvation.” We also have Your promise – “God is at work in you” (Philippians 2:12-13). Help us to obey Your command, and trust Your promise. Philippians 3:12-4:23 “Christ Jesus has made me His own” (Philippians 3:12). How wonderful this is, Lord! In these words of Paul, we hear an echo of Jesus’ great words: “You did not choose Me … I chose you” (John 15:16). Your love for us is so much stronger than our love for You. May Your love – the greatest love of all – inspire us to love You more.

Take your problem to the Lord.

"O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake ... " (Daniel 9:19).
"O Lord" - This is prayer. We do not take our problem to everyone else but the Lord. We take our problem to the Lord. "Hear" and "listen" - There can be a very real difference between hearing and listening. Something is said in our hearing, but we're not listening. When something is important, we say, "Are you listening?" Why do we want to make sure that the hearer is paying attention to what we're saying? - Because it's important to us. When we say to the Lord, "Hear"  and "listen", we're saying, "Lord, this is important to me." "Forgive" and "act" - We want to break free from our past. We want to be set free for God's future. Don't let my past sins hinder my future blessing. Send Your blessing, Lord. That's what we're praying for when we sa…

Help us, Lord, to feel for the lost, to look upon them with Your love, and to long for them to be saved.

Isaiah 14:24-15:9 “My heart cries out for Moab” (Isaiah 15:5). Lord, we read these words – and we catch a glimpse of Your loving heart. You take “no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” You do “not want anyone to perish.” You long for “everyone to come to repentance” (Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9). When, Lord, we look at Your Son, Jesus – our Saviour, we see your loving heart: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:27). When we look at Paul, the Apostle, we see Your loving heart. Paul saw the nation of Israel, turning away from You – and he was filled with compassion: “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart” (Romans 9:2). Help us, Lord, to feel for the lost, to look upon them with Your love, and to long for them to be saved.

Lord, we thank You that You don’t keep Your distance from us.

Psalm 8:1-9
Lord, we thank You that You don’t keep Your distance from us. You come near to us. You show us Your love. You give us Your peace. You fill our hearts with Your joy. You lead us forward with hope. Thank You, Lord.

Sing with joy ...

Jeremiah 31:7-14

“Sing with joy” (Jeremiah 31:7,12-13).
This is to be our response to the Gospel. It’s more than a singalong. It’s “praise.” This praise continues after we leave the place of worship.
“Shout” - “I am not ashamed” (Romans 1:16).
“Proclaim” - Make the message known: “for the Good News” (Romans 1:1,5-6).
This for everyone (Jeremiah 31:8,10).
We come as we are - “blind” and “lame” (Jeremiah 31:8). We come to our “Shepherd” (Jeremiah 31:10). He has “ransomed” us. He has “redeemed” us from the “power” of Satan, Our enemy is stronger than we are, but he is not stronger than Jesus - “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:40.
With Christ in our life, everything changes - “new wine, fresh oil... Their life will be... They will be no longer...” (Jeremiah 31:12). It is “abundant” life, a “satisfied” life (Jeremiah 31:14). We have received new life in Christ - “This is the Lord’s declaration concerning us (Jeremiah 31:14).

Looking Forward To The Lord's Triumph Over All His Enemies

Here, on earth, there is spiritual warfare. We do not fight in our own strength - "The Lord will go out and fight against those nations" (Zechariah 14:3). When the Lord returns, there will be His triumph over all His enemies: "The Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones will be with Him" (Zechariah 14:5). We must not lose sight of the eternal perspective. This is what gives us encouragement: "the Lord will be King over all the earth. On that day, the Lord will be the only Lord, and His Name the only name" (Zechariah 14:9).

“The days are coming.”

“The days are coming”: These words introduce a prophecy concerning the land (Jeremiah 30:3). The greatest blessing is not being in the land. It is belonging to the Lord. This is the blessing, spoken of by Jeremiah. When, speaking God’s Word, he writes, “You will be My people, and I will be your God” (Jeremiah 30:22).

King of the whole earth

The Lord, our God, is “King of the whole earth. He rules the nations” (Psalm 46:10; Psalm 47:7-9). The Lord is great. He is “the great King” (Psalm 48:14). The Lord does not remain detached from us in isolated heavenly glory. He comes to us as the God of our salvation - “God will buy me back from the power of hell” (Psalm 49:15). By His Word, spoken to us and acted out on our behalf, God involves Himself with us as our Saviour. He is not a God who keeps His distance from us - “Our God will come.” He is not a God who keeps His silence - “and will not be silent” (Psalm 50:3). This God comes to us with His promise of salvation - “Call on Me in times of trouble. I will rescue you, and you will honour Me” (Psalm 50:15). Along with this promise of salvation comes God’s call to live in faith and obedience: “Bring your thanks to God as a sacrifice, and keep your vows to the Most High” (Psalm 50:15). To those who walk in His way, the Lord promises His blessing: “Whoever offers th…

We Will Do As The Lord Has Said.

Numbers 30:1-32:42
In the various areas of life – -personal faithfulness (chapter 30), our relationship with the world (chapter 31), our relationship with the Lord’s people (chapter 32), there is one thing which is of the utmost importance: “we will do as the Lord has said” (Numbers 32:31). This is the most important thing: obedience to God.

Live Each Day - With The Attitude Of Gratitude.

Deuteronomy 4:1-43
The people of Israel were involved in the work of the Lord. The work was based on God – not Moses. Moses would not be in the promised land. God would be there. Moses would ‘not go over the Jordan’. As God’s man. he was to prepare the people for their task: ‘you shall go over and take possession of that good land’(22). Privilege involves responsibility. Israel was a privileged people, redeemed by the Lord, delivered from bondage ‘by a mighty hand and outstretched arm’(34). Israel was a responsible people, called to obey the Lord: ‘Obey His laws and commands’(40). The Lord our God is ‘a merciful God’(31). He has saved us. We are to serve Him. Let Him reign in your heart. Let there be ‘no other besides Him’(35). Flee to Christ for refuge (42-43), and live each day with ‘the attitude of gratitude’.

God’s “everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3) and God’s “everlasting salvation” (Isaiah 45:17)

Psalm 136:1-26 ‘His love endures for ever’. This is the great message contained in every single verse of this Psalm. It’s a message worth repeating – over and over again! God’s love is an everlasting love – ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3). God’s love is an unfailing love – ‘My unfailing love for you will not be shaken’ (Isaiah 54:10). Let us ‘give thanks’ to God for His love (Psalm 136:1-3,26). In His love, the Lord has provided for us ‘an everlasting salvation’. His ‘salvation will last for ever’ (Isaiah 45:17; Isaiah 51:6). We must not be like those who refuse to love the Lord – ‘Pharaoh… great kings… mighty kings …’ (Psalm 136:15,17-20). Those who reject God’s love will not receive ‘eternal life’. Their future will be very different – the ‘raging fire that will consume the enemies of God’ (John 3:16-18; Hebrews 10:26-27).

Blessing - From The Lord

Psalm 24:1-10
“The one who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3) - That’s Jesus. “He will receive a blessing from the Lord” (Psalm 24:5).
How do we receive this blessing? We must receive it through Jesus. We must open our hearts to “the King of glory” (Psalm 24:7,9). He will lead us on to “the mountain of the Lord”, to “His holy place” (Psalm 24:3).

We think – and we thank.

Psalm 9:1-20 “I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart …My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you . The Lord reigns forever … The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:1,3,7,9). We give thanks to You, Lord. Where does our thanksgiving begin? It begins with thinking. We think – and we thank. We think about what You have done for us. We thank You for what You have done for us. We thank You, Lord, that we have the victory in Christ. When Satan attacks us, help us to remind him that Jesus is Lord. Help us to tell him, “Jesus is my Saviour – and He’s a lot stronger than you are!” We thank You, Lord, that Satan – our determined enemy – is also our defeated enemy. He’s been defeated by Jesus – and Jesus gives His victory to us! When Satan to us, “I’m stronger than you are”, help us to answer him with Your Word: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Let Us Worship The Lord With Holy Fear And Heartfelt Love.

Psalms 98:1-100:5
‘Exalt the Lord our God... Make a joyful noise to the Lord’(99:5,9; 98:4,6; 100:1). We are to worship the Lord with joy. We are to glorify God. We are to enjoy Him. In our worship, we must never forget the holiness of God: ‘He is holy!... The Lord our God is holy!’(99:5,9). In our worship, we rejoice in the love of God: ‘His steadfast love endures for ever... He has done marvellous things!’(100:5; 98:1). The God of ‘awesome purity’ loves us with the most perfect love of all: ‘No earthly father loves like Thee...’. Let us worship Him with holy fear and heartfelt love: ‘O how I fear Thee, living God, with deepest, tenderest fears... with trembling hope and penitential tears! Yet I may love Thee too, O Lord, Almighty as Thou art, for Thou hast stooped to ask of me the love of my poor heart’(Church Hymnary, 356).

Psalms 101:1-102:28
‘I will sing of Your love... I will walk with integrity of heart...’(101:1-2). These words were written many centuries ago. ‘Thin…

Show us, Lord, that we’re not forgotten. We’re remembered.

Psalm 10:1-18
Lord, when it feels like You’ve forgotten us, help us to see the truth as it really is. We have forgotten You. We’ve taken our eyes off You – and now everything’s out of focus. There’s a blurring of our vision. Lord, take us to the Cross of Jesus. Show us that we’re not forgotten. We’re remembered.

Which is most important to us – pleasing ourselves or serving You?

1 Kings 6:14-7:12 We read about Solomon – he built “his own house”, and he built “the House of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:37-7:1). Which was the most important to him? Which is most important to us – pleasing ourselves or serving You? Help us, Lord, not to be “lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure”. “Lovers of God” – this is what You call us to be (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Help us, Lord, to keep on making our choice – to become the kind of people that You want us to be.

God's Unfailing Love

"Within Your temple, O God, we meditate on Your unfailing love" (Psalm 48:9). What do we do when human love fails? We look beyond human love. We look to divine love.  God's love never fails. It's an "unfailing love." We should think, often, of the love of God. We should think of Jesus - "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" (John 3:16). We should think of the supreme demonstration of God's love - "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Think of Jesus. Thank God for Jesus.

The true God and false gods

There is a great contrast between the true God and false gods (Isaiah 31). God brings great blessing into our lives. He does this through the gift of the Holy spirit – “the Spirit is poured upon us from on high” (Isaiah 32:14). In Him, we receive “peace” (Isaiah 32:18). In Him, we receive “the riches of salvation”, which “are wisdom and knowledge” (Isaiah 33:6). We look away from ourselves in “the fear of the Lord.” We find our “treasure” in “the Lord” – “our Judge, our Lawgiver, our King, our Saviour” (Isaiah 33:6,22).

We come to You, Lord. We come in our weakness. We ask for Your strength.

2 Chronicles 8:1-9:31 Lord, we look at Solomon – and we see ourselves. There is strength (2 Chronicles 8:16) – and there is weakness (2 Chronicles 8:11; 2 Chronicles 9:12). We want to love You more, but the world keeps on pulling us back – away from you and into sin. We come to You, Lord. We come in our weakness. We ask for Your strength. May our comfort and convenience never become more important to us than our consecration and commitment to You.

God's Word Brings Blessing.

"… the seed shall sprout and grow, he himself does not know how …" (Mark 4:27).
God has given us a great promise – “my word that goes out from my mouth … will not return to me empty” (Isaiah 55:11). When we feel that God’s Word is returning to us empty, we have this Word of encouragement: God’s Word will not return to Him empty. God gives us His great promise “my word … will accomplishwhat I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” We do not see all that God’s Word is doing as the Spirit of God brings Christ to the people. God sees the full impact of His Word. That is why He says that His Word will not return to Him empty. When we have preached the Word, we must say, with the hymnwriter, “I know not how the Spirit moves, convincing men of sin; revealing Jesus through the word, creating faith in Him.” We don’t understand all that God is doing as His Word is preached. We do know that He is at work. How do we know this? – We know Him – “I know whom I have…

When our faith is being sorely tested, help us, Lord, to turn to You.

Psalms 14:1-15:5 When our faith is being sorely tested, help us, Lord, to turn to You. Help us to know that, through it all, You are there with us – suffering with us, leading us into Your joy. Teach us, in our suffering, to wait for the day when You will “restore our fortunes”, when You will answer our prayer: “O that salvation … would come”, when we will, again, “rejoice” and be “glad” in You (Psalm 14:7).

How can I be saved? - Is there a more important question than this?

Psalm 49:1-20 How can I be saved? Is there a more important question than this? In Your Word, Lord, You speak to us about our need of salvation and Your provision of salvation. You call us to receive Your salvation. We cannot save ourselves – “No man can ransom himself, or give to God the price of his life. The price to be paid for his soul is too costly” (Psalm 49:7-8). We thank You that Your Son,Jesus, came to earth “to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Help us, Lord, to believe Your promise – “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31), and to enter into the blessing that is promised – “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36).

He Has Risen!

"Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love ..." (Psalm 90:14).Out of the darkness of the night, into the light of the morning - "Very early on the first day of the week ... He has risen!" (Mark 16:4,6). Our new morning comes from Christ's resurrection morning.

Praise The Lord - At All Times!

Psalm 34:1-22
"I will praise the Lord at all times" (Psalm 34:1) - in the bad times as well as the good times. "Rejoice in the Lord always" (Philippians 4:4). "His praise will always be on my lips" (and in my heart) (Psalm 34:1). This Psalm begins with "I" (see also Psalm 34:2 - "I will boast in the Lord"), but it move on, from there, to "Proclaim with me the Lord, let us exalt His Name together" (Psalm 34:3). Note also "I" (Psalm 34:4) and "Taste and see" (Psalm 34:8). The way to happiness - true and lasting joy (Psalm 34:5,8): True joy goes hand in hand with the fear of the Lord (Psalm 34:11-12). The Lord sees us in our need, and He has compassion on us. He is near to us - "Emmanuel." He saves us - "Jesus" (Psalm 34:18; Matthew 1:23,21). What the Lord does for us is summed up in Psalm 34:22 - He redeems us. This is more than changing our life here-and-now. This is eterna…

Praying Through God’s Word: Ephesians

Ephesians 1:1-2:10 Lord, You call us to live a holy life. We cannot do this in our own strength. True holiness does not come from ourselves. It comes from You. It comes from Your love. Your love reaches us. Your love changes us. Your love is stronger than our sin. May Your love inspire us to live a holy life. May Your love enable us to live a holy life – a life that brings glory to You, the God of our salvation. Ephesians 2:11-4:6 When You, Lord, are at work in us, everything changes. You save us. You sanctify us. You strengthen us. Help us to serve You. Ephesians 4:7-5:14 Lord, You want us to “grow up in every way into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). You want us to “walk in love” (Ephesians 5:2). You want us to live a life that is “pleasing to You” (Ephesians 5:10). Why do we settle for something less than Your very best? Help us, Lord, not to “grieve Your Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:14). When we hear Your wake-up call – “Awake, O sleeper … ” (Ephesians 5:14), help us to open the do…

Those who trust in the Lord cannot be moved.

Psalms 125:1-127:5 ‘Those who trust in the Lord… cannot be moved…’ When, Lord, we put our trust in You, we are like the ‘wise man who built his house on the rock’. His house ‘did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock’. When we don’t put our trust in You, we are like the’ foolish man who built his house on sand’. His house ‘fell with a great crash’. Help us never to forget that ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain’ (Psalm 125:1; Psalm 127:1; Matthew 7:24-27). Help us to remember that ‘Jesus Christ’ is the ‘sure Foundation’ upon which our faith is built. He is ‘the solid Rock’, our ‘mighty Rock of spiritual refreshment’ (1 Corinthians 3:11; 10:3-4). We thank You, Lord,  that ‘Christ died for our sins… He was raised on the third day’. Help us to keep on rejoicing in Him: ‘The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy’(Psalm  126:3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).�����������������������������������������������������������������…

A Very Important Question

Matthew 25:1-13 Will we be ready, when the Lord returns? This is the question the Lord is putting to us here. It’s the most important question. It’s the question that we cannot evade. It’s the question that won’t go away. It’s the question of our life. What is our life all about? What is most important to us? Who is most important to us – Jesus or ourselves?

Being With Jesus And Learning From Him

Mark 3:1-19
Jesus' ministry of preaching, teaching and healing was a remarkable ministry - but He did not go it alone. He called disciples to be with Him and learn from Him. How much do we know about these men? We know quite a lot about some of them. There are others about whom we know nothing at all. Do we need to know a lot about all of the apostles? No! We need to know about Jesus. The Saviour is more important than the servants. The message is more important than the messengers. This is a very important lesson. This is a lesson that we all need to learn. This is a lesson that we must never forget. Before we can work for the Lord, we are to "be with Him." We are to speak for Him (Mark 3:14). We are to pray that people will be changed (Mark 3:15).

"But You, O Lord, remain forever" (Psalm 102:12).

Times change - but our God doesn't change. He's unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable - in His great love for us. His love doesn't come and go - sometimes up, sometimes down. His love remains forever. This is Good News for sinners. We have wandered far from Him - but He hasn't stopped loving us. He keeps on loving us. He's calling us to return to Him. He's calling us to make a new beginning with Him. This is love - and it gives us great hope for the future. Without His love, a New Year is just another year - more wandering around in the wilderness without really knowing where we're going. With His love, everything changes. His love changes everything. We move forward into the future with confidence in this: the Lord remains forever - and His love remains forever. Thank You, Lord, for Your great love. We don't deserve to be loved by You - but You keep on loving us. This fills our hearts with gladness - and with much hope for the future in…

The Lord - My Rock

“To You, Lord, I call; You are my Rock” (Psalm 28:1). “I’ve anchored in Jesus, the storms of life I’ll brave, I’ve anchored in Jesus, I fear no wind or wave. I’ve anchored in Jesus, for He hath power to save, I’ve anchored to the Rock of Ages” (Lewi­s E. Jones).

Victory In Jesus

John 10:1-42
The Christian life is not easy. The devil ‘comes only to steal and kill and destroy’ (10).
Satan was working through the religious leaders. They were trying ‘to stone’ Jesus (31).
‘Again’, they failed (39). They could not take Jesus’ life. ‘His hour had not yet come’ (18; 7:30; 8:20).
When Satan attacks us, we must remember this: God is in control.
God has given us great promises (28-29). Jesus saves. Jesus keeps. His salvation is eternal: ‘He didn’t bring us this far to leave us. He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown. He didn’t build His home in us to move away. He didn’t lift us up to let us down’.
Satan will cause us plenty of trouble.
* Be on the alert (1 Peter 5:8).
* Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).
Looking to Jesus, we are assured of this: Satan will be defeated (Revelation 12:9).

Facts, Faith, Feelings

Psalm 46:1-11
"God is our refuge and our strength ..." (Psalm 46;1). "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). First, the truth about God; Then, our feelings are brought into line with the truth about God, Facts; Faith; Feelings  * Facts - Christ's death and resurrection for us   * Faith - I believe the facts. My faith is built on the sure foundation - Christ, the rock of my salvation.  * Feelings - Never start with feelings. They will lead you astray. Safety; Certainty; Enjoyment  * Safety - We have been saved by the Lord. It's His doing - not ours.  * Certainty - We believe His Word. We stand upon His promises.  * Enjoyment - We enjoy His blessing.

Lord, You’re calling us to choose the life of fruitful service.

1 Kings 7:13-8:13 Lord, You’re calling us to choose the life of fruitful service – “gold, silver, precious stones”. You’re calling us to leave behind the unfruitful life – “wood, hay, straw” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Help us to hear and answer Your call: “Rise up, O Church of God. Have done with lesser things. Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings.”

The Love Of God - Reaching Us And Changing Us

Acts 2:37-38 At the heart of the Gospel, there is the love of God. This is the story told by Peter on the Day of Pentecost – the story of God’s love for us. In love, God offers to us the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (v. 38). These blessings are undeserved – we are “far off” (v. 39). As the message of salvation was proclaimed, the Spirit of love was powerfully at work, creating faith – “they were cut to the heart and asked, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” (v. 37). The story of salvation calls for our response. Can we hear this story of salvation without responding in faith, without earnestly seeking the blessings promised to us in Christ? – Sadly, there are people who hear the Gospel many times but are never gripped by the Gospel. We are only gripped by the Gospel when we allow the Spirit of God to do His work in us, drawing us to Jesus Christ. This emphasis on the Spirit is important. Repentance and faith come to us through the work of the Spirit in us. This is v…

The Good News of salvation (Psalm 6)

(1) The Psalmist’s need of salvation.
He comes to God in his need – “My soul is in anguish” (v. 3); “I am worn out from groaning” (v. 6); “My eyes grow weak with sorrow” (v.7). He looks to the future, and all that he sees is “the grave” (v. 5).
(2) The Psalmist’s prayer for salvation
He looks to the Lord for salvation – “Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love” (v. 4). He prays that God will not come under the judgment of God – O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath” (v. 1) He prays that God will have “mercy” on him – “Be merciful to me, Lord” (v.2) He trusts in God’s “unfailing love – “Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love” (v. 4).
(3) Repentance and Faith
In the Psalmist’s prayer, there is repentance - “Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping” (v. 8) – and faith – “The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer” (v. 9).
(4) Assurance …

Real Listening ...

Real Listening, A Real Turning To The Lord And A Real Sense Of His Blessing (Psalm 85:8)
We are to pray for real listening - ‘I will listen to what God the Lord will say’- , a real turning to the Lord - ‘turning to Him in our hearts’- , and a real sense of His blessing - ‘He will speak peace to His people’(Psalm 85:8).

In The House Of The Lord

“One thing have I asked of the Lord…that I may dwell in the House of the Lord…”(Psalm 27:4). Why do we come to the House of the Lord? – We come to offer to Him our heartfelt worship.

Everlasting Love

"I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3).
God loves us. This isn’t for some perfect people who’ve never fallen into sin. There’s nobody who’s like that. All of us have made a mess of things – but God still says to us, “I love you.” He says, “My Son, Jesus, died for you.” This is what gives us the strength to choose His way rather than our own way. This is what keeps us from sin. This is what convinces us that there’s a better way than the way of sin. There’s a way of blessing. It comes to us when we’re learning how much God loves us. He doesn’t give up on us when we let Him down. He keeps on loving us. He keeps on lifting us up. He sets us on our feet. He changes the direction of our life. It becomes less about ourselves, and more about Him (Galatians 2:20).
So often, we have been like ‘the prodigal son’(Luke 15:11-24). We have walked away from our Father’s House. We have wandered off into ‘the far country’. We feel that we are far from God, ye…

Help us, Lord, to hide Your Word in our hearts - and not sin against You.

Proverbs 30:1-33
In Proverbs 30:5, we learn about Your Word. Your Word is ‘true’. Your Word is ‘pure’. Your Word is full of blessing for those who ‘put their trust in You’. When, Lord, we trust in You, we learn that ‘Your Word is truth’. Your Word is full of blessing for those who ‘live according to Your Word’. When, Lord, we live in obedience to Your Word, we find that Your Word makes us ‘pure’. Through Your Word of truth, You lead us in the pathway of holiness. Help us never to forget that Jesus is praying for us: ‘Make them pure and holy through teaching them Your Words of truth’. Lord, Your Word is ‘more precious than gold’. Help us to ‘hide Your Word in our hearts that we might not sin against You’ (John 17:17; Psalms 19:10; 119:9,11).

"Is there any word from the Lord?" (Jeremiah 37:17).

There are different ways of asking questions.
"Is there any word from the Lord?" This is a question which invites Jeremiah to speak the Word of the Lord.
In Genesis 3:1, we have a very different way of asking questions - "the serpent ... said to the woman, Did God really say ... ?"
The "ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan" (Revelation 12:9) is always trying to get us to stop believing the Word of God.
"Is there any Word from the Lord?" - Jeremiah's answer is "Yes" (Jeremiah 37:17).
What was the Word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah at that time? - "You will be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon" (Jeremiah 37:17).
What are we to do when God's Word doesn't say what we had been hoping to hear? - We must refuse to ask the Satanic question, "Did God really say?" We must learn to say, from the heart, "This is the Word of the Lord."
It's not our place to say what the Word of God s…

Lord, we long for a closer walk with You.

Psalm 17:1-15 Lord, we long for a closer walk with You. Sometimes, Lord, we take our eyes off Jesus, our Saviour – and we wander far away from You. Always, You are calling us back to Yourself. In love, You wait for us to return to You. You call us to make a new beginning with You.

Arise, Shine ...

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you" (Isaiah 60:1).
* Let the light of Christ shine.
* Let the words of Scripture lead to thoughts of the Saviour.
* In Christ, we are called to salvation, sanctification and service.
* Be wise – worship the Saviour.
Is 60:1-6; Ps 72:1-7,10-14; Eph 3:1-12; Mt 2:1-12

What a difference there is between Jesus giving a sign and the Pharisees demanding a sign!

What a difference there is between Jesus giving a sign and the Pharisees demanding a sign! Miracles are given when the Lord decides - not when we demand: "If these people are given a sign, it will be far different from what they want!" (Mark 8:12). A blind man came to Jesus. His sight Was restored - "He could see everything clearly, even at a distance" (Mark 8:25). The Pharisees couldn't see - "Don't you catch on yet?" (Mark 8:21). 'Open our eyes, Lord. We want to see Jesus.'

We thank You, Lord, for Your salvation and Your victory.

Psalm 18:25-50 We thank You, Lord, for Your salvation and Your victory. Help us to walk with You in salvation and victory, obeying Your command – “Clothe yourselves in humility”, heeding Your warning – “God opposes the proud”, and trusting Your promise – He “gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).

Lord, we thank You for Your “amazing grace” ...

Genesis 6:1-8 Lord, we thank You for Your “amazing grace” – “I once was lost but now am found” (John Newton). We think about our life. Did we find our way back to You?- No! You found us! You came looking for us – and You found us. We think about this – and we say, “Hallelujah!” We say, “Praise the Lord!” Do we say, “Hallelujah! We have found Him”? We do say this – but there is something more than this: “Hallelujah! He has saved me.” Thank You, Lord, for Your amazing grace.

Praying Through God's Word: Galatians

Galatians 1:1-2:10 Lord, we thank you that You have given to us "a revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:12). Christ is the Gospel. He is our testimony. He is our message. Help us to keep Him at the very centre of our life. In our ever-changing world, help us to keep on saying, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). Galatians 2:11-3:22 Lord, we thank You that Jesus died for us. we thank You that He lives in us. In Him, there is love - "He loved me." In Him, there is life - "He lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, for the love that He has shown to us and the life that He has given to us. Galatians 3:23-5:6 Lord, we do not come to You with our religion in one hand and our morality in the other. We do not come, insisting that we deserve to be blessed by You. Help us to bring our pride to the Cross of Christ. Help us to pray, "Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Break…

Love God - and love your neighbour.

Mark 12:29-31
Love God. Love your neighbour. Love for God comes first - but it never stands alone. It's never just "Love God" - and leave it at that. It's always "Love God" - and "Love your neighbour."

The Importance Of Prayer In The Advance Of The Gospel

Notice the importance of prayer in the advance of the Gospel. They were looking for a prayer meeting when Lydia was saved (Acts 16:13-14). They were going to a prayer meeting when the girl was saved (Acts 16:16-18). They were having a prayer meeting when the jailer was saved (Acts 16:25-34). They had gone to Philippi ‘to preach the Gospel to them’(Acts 16:10). Even when they were ‘in chains’, the Gospel proved itself to be ‘the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith’(Ephesians 6:20; Romans 1:16). ‘The Word of God is not bound’. It is ‘living and active’. ‘Sharper than any two-edged sword’, it is ‘the sword of the Spirit’(2 Timothy 2:9; Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17). Do you want people to ask the Salvation question and heed the Gospel answer (Acts 16:30-31)? ‘Pray at all times in the Spirit… with all perseverance’(Ephesians 6:18).

Lord, You’re always speaking to us ...

Psalm 19:1-14 Lord, You’re always speaking to us. Every day and every night,You speak to us through Your created world. You prepare us for hearing the voice of Jesus, Your living Word. He speaks to us through the Scriptures, Your written Word. Help us, Lord, to become aware of Your presence, to listen to the voice of Jesus – calling us to come to You, and to receive new life, as we put our trust in Jesus, our Saviour.

Lead us, Lord, in the way of true wisdom.

1 Samuel 26:1-25 Lead us, Lord, in the way of true wisdom - "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10). How foolish we are when we choose to go our own way rather than walking in Your way. Help us, Lord, to choose Christ every day - "O happy day, that fixed my choice on Thee, my Saviour and my God ... That vow renewed shall daily hear."

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The Saviour Takes The Sinner's Place.

Mark 11:1-11
More than a journey into Jerusalem - a journey to suffering, crucifixion and death. No shortcut to resurrection - Jesus must go by way of the Cross. At the Cross, we see Jesus, the King of love.
Why did He not defend Himself? - Because He loves us. He shows His love by taking our place.
Jesus and Barabbas - a God-given illustration of the true and real meaning of Jesus' death: the Saviour takes the sinner's place.

Baptism and the Lord's Supper

The sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper - What place do they have within the total context of the Christian life? What part do they play within the total purpose of God for our lives? The sacraments are signposts. They point us to the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour. When you see a signpost marked, "Edinburgh", you are pointed in the direction of Edinburgh. The sign says, "This is the way to Edinburgh." When you see a sign that says, "Come alive with Pepsi", your attention is directed to Pepsi-Cola. The sacraments point us to Jesus. The sacraments direct our attention to Jesus. The signpost says, "This is the way to Edinburgh." The sacraments point to Jesus. They say, "He is the Way to heaven." The Pepsi-Cola advert says, "Come alive with Pepsi." The sacraments invite us to "Come alive with Jesus." When you see the sign for Edinburgh, you are not already in Edinburgh. It is possible to see th…

We thank You, Lord, for Your gift of the Holy Spirit. In Him, You give to us "rivers of living water."

Joshua 15:1-63 We thank You, Lord, for Your gift of the Holy Spirit. In Him, You give to us "rivers of living water" (John 7:37-39). How are these "rivers of living water" to flow in us and through us? - We need less of this world - "Do not be conformed to this world" - and more of Your Word - "Be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:2).

Help us, Lord, to look, listen and learn.

Numbers 22:1-41  Help us, Lord, to look, listen and learn. We look into Your Word. We listen to what Your Word is saying to us.We look and we listen - so that we might learn to love You more. Love for You - This, Lord, is what our looking and listening are all about. What, Lord, have we learned if we're not learning to love You more? Teach us, Lord, to love You - more truly and more fully.

I’d Rather Have Jesus Than Silver Or Gold.

Daniel 5:1-31
We are not to ‘praise the gods of gold and silver...’(4). Material possessions must never take the place of God. Seeking material prosperity is not to be the most important thing in our lives. We are to ‘seek first His Kingdom...’. We are to ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’(Matthew 6:33; 2 Peter 3:18). ‘I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold, I’d rather be His than have riches untold...I’d rather have Jesus... than to be the king of a vast domain and be held in sin’s dread sway. I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today. I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause, I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause; I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame, I’d rather be true to His holy Name’(Mission Praise, 319).

How Can I Be Saved?

Psalm 49:1-20
How can I be saved? How does God answer our most important question, the question of salvation? He speaks to us about (a) our need of salvation; (b) His provision of salvation; (c) receiving salvation. (a) Our need of salvation:We cannot save ourselves. ‘No man can ransom himself, or give to God the price of his life. The price to be paid for his soul is too costly’(7-8). (b) His provision of salvation:Jesus Christ came to earth ‘to give His life as a ransom for many’. We are ‘redeemed with the precious blood of Christ’(Mark 10:45; 1 Peter 1:18-19). (c) Receiving salvation: Christ died to ‘save us from the power of hell’ and ‘take us to Himself’. We receive salvation through faith in Him: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved’. ‘He who believes in the Son has eternal life’(15; Acts 16:31; John 3:36).

Psalm 50:1-23
‘Our God comes, He does not keep silence’(3). God does not keep His distance. He comes near to us. He does not keep His silence. He speak…

We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus is "the same yesterday and today and forever"

Numbers 20:1-29 We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus is "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). When everything around us seems to be changing, help us to remember that Jesus, our Saviour, is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable in the great love that He has for us and the amazing grace that He shows to us.

Lord, You speak to us the Word of condemnation ... You also speak to us the Word of compassion.

Deuteronomy 32:19-33:17 Lord, You speak to us the Word of condemnation. You tell us that we are "a perverse generation" You tell us that "You will hide Your face from us" (Deuteronomy 32:20). You also speak to us the Word of compassion - "The Lord will ... have compassion on His servants, when He sees their power is gone" (Deuteronomy 32:26). Help us, Lord, to hear the Word of condemnation - to know that "our power has gone", so that we can hear the Word of compassion, the Word that comes to us in our weakness, the Word that brings us into Your strength - "a new creation in Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Worship The Lord ... (Psalm 18)

Psalm 18:1-24 The first three verses set the tone: Worship. What a great start to this Psalm. Our attention is directed away from ourselves to the Lord: ‘my strength...my rock, my fortress and my deliverer...my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold’ (1-2). The great testimony of verse 3 - ‘I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies’ - did not come easily (4-5). The enemies of the Lord will be brought to judgment (13-14). ‘The cord of death encompassed me...He delivered me from my strong enemy...’ (4-5,17-19) - Rejoice in the risen Christ through whom we have the ‘victory’ over ‘the last enemy...death’ (1 Corinthians 15:20,26,54). God is leading us into ‘a broad place’ (19). Step into the future with Him. Don’t hold back! ‘Let go and let God have His wonderful way’.
Psalm 18:25-50 ‘This God’ is ‘our God’. He is ‘the Rock’. He is ‘my Rock’. No one can compare with the Lord our God. He is the living God, the God of our sal…

Help us, Lord, to be caring people.

Deuteronomy 22:1-30 Help us, Lord, to be caring people. Where does this love for one another come from? It comes from Your love for us. Where there is a growing appreciation of Your love for us, there will be an increasing commitment to sharing Your love with others. Help us to love people without loving the ways of those who "live as enemies of the Cross of Christ" (Philippians 3:18). May our love for them be a true expression of Your love for them. May it call them to return to You, to be forgiven by You, to make a new beginning with You.

The Greatest Love Of All - The Love Of God

Love, given by God, is not returned by His people. “When Israel was a child, I loved him” (Hosea 11:1), “The more  I called them, the further they went away” (Hosea 11:2). “I was one who taught the people of Ephraim to walk. I took them by the hand” - This is the love of God, “But they didn’t realize that I had healed them” (Hosea 11:3) - This is the ingratitude of God’s people. “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ropes of love” (Hosea 11:4) - Again, we see the love of God. “They have refused to return to Me” (Hosea 11:5) - Again, we see the people of God, turning away from the God of their salvation. How deep is their rebellion against God - “My people are determined to turn away from Me” (Hosea 11:7). How deep is His continuing love for them - “How can I give you up, Ephraim?” (Hosea 11:8). What a great contrast there is between God and man: “I am God, not a human” (Hosea 11:9). He is so much greater than we are. His love is so much greater than our sin. Th…

Jesus didn't give up on Peter ...

A confession of faith in Jesus (Mark 8:29) is followed by a rebuke from Jesus (Mark 8:33). How did Peter get from confession to rebuke? - Satan slipped into his heart and mind, leading him away from the Lord Jesus. Did Jesus give up on Peter? - No! Jesus was still speaking to all of His disciples. He was speaking to them about following Him (Mark 8:34-38). Jesus was still including Peter among the three whom He chose to be with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-13). Was this the Kingdom of God coming with power (Mark 9:1). In one sense - No! There was - and still is - more to come. In another sense - Yes! This was real. This was God among them. This was life-changing. Years later, Peter recalled that he had been with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (2 Peter 1;16-18). This was something special, something unforgettable. Was Peter made perfect on that day on the mountain? No! He failed the Lord at the time of crucifixion, but, again, Jesus didn't give …

Our lives lay in ruins until You, Lord, put us together again.

Nehemiah 11:1-12:30 Our lives lay in ruins until You put us together again. You call us to build our lives on Christ (Matthew 7:24-27). Help us, Lord, to come to You, again and again – confessing our sin, receiving Your forgiveness, building on Christ, our Saviour. When we feel ourselves being pulled away from You, help us to choose Christ. May we choose to be holy. May we choose the way of blessing, the way that brings glory to You.

Lord, You gave Your Son, Jesus - to be our Saviour.

Numbers 7:1-47 Lord, You gave Your Son, Jesus - to be our Saviour. Help us to give ourselves to You - to be Your servants. Jesus died for us. Help us to live for Him. Help us never to forget His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine." May we be challenged by His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all." Help us to respond to His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine, shall have my soul, my life, my all."

Leviticus: A Call To Worship

On reading the book of Leviticus, we are struck by the strangeness of it all. It all seems so different from anything we have ever known. Are we, then, to conclude that we have nothing in common with those who worshipped the God of Israel in these far-off Old Testament times? Are we to abandon the Old Testament, especially the most difficult parts, as a waste of time?

Many people have done exactly that. They hardly ever read the Bible. When they do read the Bible, they restrict themselves to a few favourite passages. The treasures of art, architecture, music and literature are not discovered by the casual observer. It is precisely the same with the treasures of God’s Word. We must not settle for the passing glance. If we are to find treasure, we must dig for it. We must dig deep.

When we dig deep in the book of Leviticus, we will discover spiritual principles for today’s Church. There are things, in Leviticus, which are very different from life in the Christian Church today. Nevertheles…

Lord, we thank You that You are a solid rock for our faith ... the only solid rock for our faith.

Psalms 20:1-21:13 “We trust in the Name of the Lord our God…Through the unfailing love of the Most High’ we ‘shall not be moved” (Psalms 20:7; 21:7). Lord, we thank You that You are a solid rock for our faith. You are the only solid rock for our faith. Without You, Lord, the foundations are shaking. We’re about to collapse. You pick us up. We’re broken in pieces. You put us together again. Our life is going nowhere. You give us a new sense of direction. Without this input from You, our lives are empty. Everything we do is futile. When You are there with us, everything changes. It’s Your love that makes the difference. It’s Your love that changes us. Thank You, Lord, for Your love. When our future seems so uncertain, help us, Lord, to put our trust in You. Help us to remember Your Son, Jesus. Help us to remember that He is our Saviour. When we fear the worst, may we always remember that our Saviour is absolutely trustworthy and completely dependable. When our love for Him …