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Showing posts from July, 2019

Lord, there are no "giants" able to stand in Your presence.

1 Chronicles 18:1-20:8  Lord, there are no "giants" able to stand in Your presence (1 Chronicles 20:8). We face the "giants" of unbelief, disobedience, spiritual pride and self-righteousness. By Your "divine power", these "giants" will be brought to nothing (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Let the "giants" come tumbling down. Let us "grow in grace." Let us give all the "glory" to You, Lord (2 Peter 3:18).

Satan is much more powerful than we are. He's not more powerful than You, Lord.

1 Chronicles 21:1-22:1  "Satan stood up against Israel ... " (1 Chronicles 21:1). Satan is much more powerful than we are. He's not more powerful than You, Lord. Satan prevails against us. He does not prevail against You. Help us, Lord, to come to You - and receive Your prevailing power. In our own strength, we cannot stand against Satan. In Your strength, we shall stand against him - and we shall triumph over him. 

God Loves Us, Even Though We Don't Deserve To Be Loved By Him.

Genesis 9 This is not only a story about Noah. It's a story about God. Noah was a man of faith. We can learn much from his faith. There is, however, something more than Noah's faith. We concentrate our attention on God's love. God loves us, even though we don't deserve to be loved by Him. We have failed Him many times. He has never failed us. He never stops loving us. He loves us, even when we don't love Him. Whatever you've done, God loves you. There is no sin too great for God's love. God's love is for everyone. Whoever you are - even if you don't feel very important, God loves you. There is no-one who has wandered too far away. God continues to love those who are far from Him. He waits for us to return to Him. God's love is forever. It is an everlasting love. God has made us to live with Him in heaven forever. By sinning against God, we have closed the door of heaven. God, in His love, has opened the door for us. Jesus is the

"Jurassic Park" - a modern 'Tower of Babel'

Genesis 11 * "Scientists can become so fascinated by what they could do that they do not even stop to think about whether they should." (Dr Ian Malcolm). * "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs" (Dr Ian Malcolm). * "I was overwhelmed by the power of this place, but I did not have enough respect for that power" (Dr Ellie Sattler). Monsters are created and morality is forgotten (see Robin Cook's book, Mutation). "Can we do this?" is not the only question that needs to be asked. "Should we do this?" must also be asked. When is morality forgotten? - We forget morality when we forget God. We forget morality when we forget to ask. "What does God want us to do?" What happens when God is forgotten, when we forget about what God wants us to do? "Come, let us build ourselves a city (a 'Jurassic Park') and a tower with its top in the heave

Jesus Is Greater Than ...

Jesus is "greater than Jonah" (Luke 11:32). Think of the great servants of God in the Old Testament. Jesus is greater than all of them! He's more than than a servant of God. He's the Son of God. He's more than a messenger, sent by God. He's the Saviour, sent from God. How great is our Saviour? He's greater than we can we put into words. He's greater than we can imagine. He's the greatest! His love is the greatest love of all!

Preaching The Word Of The Lord: Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort (Isaiah 40:1) - This comes from God's great faithfulness (Lamentations 3:23).  In our past, present and future, we see the faithfulness of God- "His mercies never end. They are new every morning" (Lamentations 3:22-23).  Think of God's faithfulness, and "count your blessings." Think of this, that and the other blessing (good things in your life) - and don't forget to thank Him for the greatest blessing of all: Jesus.  - The faithfulness if God is summed up in this: "The Word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).      - There's a New Testament way of saying this: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). As we move from one year to another year, let's think about the old and the new. On His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus speaks about the old and the new.  - He tells us that He didn't come to destroy the Law and Prophets. He came to fulfil them (Matth

Lead us to Jesus.

We thank You, Lord, that the Holy Spirit directs our attention to Jesus (John 16:14). He leads us to make our confession of faith: "Jesus is Lord" (1 Corinthians 12:3). He leads us into a new life - a life that is centred on Jesus, a life that brings glory to You and blessing to us.

The King of love

“The Lord will wash away the filth of Zion’s people … His glory will cover everything” (Isaiah 4:4-5). The restoration of the divine glory is the goal of the divine cleansing. What God does for us and in us is the reversal of what sin does – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God’s people are His “vineyard”, “the garden of His delight” (Isaiah 5:7). Our response to the Lord is to love Him and worship Him: “Let me sing a love song to my Beloved” (Isaiah 5:1). We rejoice in the Lord because He has forgiven our sin (Isaiah 6:7). We sing praise to Him because all glory belongs to Him (Isaiah 6:3). Our sin, which is great (Isaiah 6:5), has been forgiven – All glory to God! This is the Lord’s doing. It is marvellous in our eyes. “The King” is among us. He reveals Himself as the King of love. Out of love for the Lord, we make our response – Here am I. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). As we obey God’s command, “Go and tell the people” (Isaiah 6:9), we may

Seven Words On Seven Chapters (John 1-7)

We look at the first seven chapters of John's Gospel. Our seven words are (1) Who; (2) What; (3) Wind; (4) Worship; (5) Wholeness; (6) Word; (7) Witness. (1) Who is Jesus? Chapter 1: (a) the Word (v. 1); (b ) God (v. 1); (c) the life (v. 4); (d) the light of men (v 4 ) and the true light (v. 9); (e) the only begotten Son (v. 18) or the Son of God (vs, 34, 49); (f) the Lamb of God (vs. 29, 36); (g) Master (v. 38); (h) the Messiah or the Christ (v. 41); (i) the King of Israel (v. 49); (j) the Son of Man (v.51). We focus our attention on another description of Jesus - "this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit" (v.33). This is based on the Spirit's descending, like a dove, to abide on Jesus (vs.32-33). (2) What kind of Spirit does Jesus baptize us with? What kind of Spirit does He pour out upon us? What kind of Spirit does He give to us to live in us? Chapter 2: The Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of Jesus ( Acts 16:7 ), "the Spirit of Christ" (

Build Your Life On The Word Of The Lord.

As we seek to build our Church and our lives on Jesus Christ, we turn to the book of Deuteronomy. Here, we are following our Lord Jesus Christ. When He was being tempted by Satan, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3 - "Man does not live by bread alone ... Man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord." This is the lesson which comes through, again and again, in Deuteronomy: We need to hear the Word of the Lord, We need to build our lives on the Word of the Lord. The teaching of Deuteronomy has been summed up in this way: (i) Looking back; (ii) Looking up; (iii) Looking forward.   (i) Looking back - God's people were to look back to the past. They were to remember what the Lord had done for them. This is what we must do. Look back and remember. Why are we to look back to the past? We look back to the past so that we might learn to look up to the Lord and look out into the future with faith (Deuteronomy 4:32, 40).   (ii) Looking up - The peop

Prayer And Preaching

"A prayer of the prophet Habakkuk" (Habakkuk  3:1) - Prayer and prophecy go together. Pray before preaching God's Word. Let the prayers go up to the Lord. May the power come down from the Lord. Keep on praying after the Word's been preached. Pray that the Lord will follow His Word with His blessing. "... renew... reveal... remember... " (Habakkuk 3:2). Pray that God will remember us - "remember to be merciful." Pray that He will reveal Himself to us as the living God, the God who works in our lives to change us and make us more like Himself. Pray that He will renew our life so that we are no  longer walking in our own weakness. Now, we are living in His strength. "Praise... power... paths... " (Habakkuk 3:3-6), "His praise fills the earth, His brightness as the sunlight. Rays of light stream from His hand. That is where His power is hidden." We need to go to His Word. We need to let His Word shine upon us. We need

Reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ

‘Reconciled’ to God through Christ, we have received ‘the ministry of reconciliation.’ Saved by Him, we are to ‘work with Him.’ We are ‘not to accept the grace of God in vain’ by living for ourselves. We are to be ‘ambassadors for Christ.’ We must proclaim the urgent message of salvation - ‘now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation.’ We must call men and women to respond to God’s message of salvation: ‘Be reconciled to God’ (2 Corinthians 5:18-6:2). If we are to be effective ‘ambassadors for Christ’, we must dedicate our lives to Him: ‘Let us cleanse ourselves… and make holiness perfect in the fear of God’(2 Corinthians 7:1). Without this heartfelt commitment to godly living, we cannot really serve the Lord at all. Our wrong lives will drown out our ‘right’ words. We need true lives as well as ‘true’ words.

We thank You, Lord, that we have the victory in Christ.

Genesis 32:22-32 We thank You, Lord, that we have the victory in Christ. This is not our own victory. It's His victory. On the Cross, He won the victory over Satan. How do we know that He has won the victory? - You raised Him from the dead. We thank You, Lord, that Jesus didn't win the victory for Himself. He won the victory for us. He gives His victory to us. Help us, Lord, to walk with You in victory. When we stumble and fall - as we so often do, pick us up and set us on our feet again. Help us to take our stand against Satan. help us to take our stand in Christ. Lead us on, Lord, from victory to victory.

Lord, everything seems so hopeless - when we take our eyes off You!

Genesis 17:1-27 Lord, everything seems so hopeless  - when we take our eyes off You! Help us to keep our eyes on You. Fill us with fresh hope. Sometimes, we can be optimists. Often, we’re pessimists. You’re always “the God of hope” ( Romans 15:13 ). You’re always saying to us, “There is hope” ( Jeremiah 31:17 ). Lord, real hope comes from You. It’s more than human optimism. It’s Your gift to us. It’s Your “gift of eternal life” ( Romans 6:23 ). Lord, real hope comes from You. It’s more than just “hoping for the best.” It’s being lifted up by You, Lord – the God who raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2::24). Thank You, Lord, for the hope that You give to us when we stand upon Your great promises: “I will pour out My Spirit … and everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved” ( Acts 2:18 , 21 ). You lift us out of our hopelessness. You give us strength to face the future with confidence – the strength which comes from knowing that You are the God of hope

Lord, what You have done for us – we could never have done for ourselves!

Genesis 21:1-21 Lord, what You have done for us – we could never have done for ourselves! It’s so amazing what You have done for us. We were making plans for ourselves - but our plans didn’t include You! You came to us. You said to us, “I have a wonderful plan for your life.” We look at the plans we had for ourselves, we look at the plan You have for us – and we say, ‘Your way is so much better than our own way.’ Your way is the way of blessing. It’s the way of giving glory to You. Lord, where would be – if You had not come to us, if You had not led us into Your way, if You had not brought us into Your blessing? You did not wait for us to start looking for You – You came looking for us. You did not wait for us to start saying, ‘Bless us, Lord’ – You came to us with Your blessing. You did not wait for us to lift ourselves up – You lifted us up. Thank You, Lord.

Lord, when hard times come our way ...

Genesis 49:28-50:26 Lord, when hard times come our way, help us to remember that "Your steadfast love never ceases" (Lamentations 3:22). When bad things are happening to us, help us to keep on remembering that You are still the good God. Who are we to say that You are no longer with us – just because we’re going through a hard time? You’re with us in our bad days as well as our good days. You’ve promised to be with us every step of the way. Who are we to suggest that You’ve gone away and left us to go it alone? Help us to trust Your promises – and not to get dragged away from You by our feelings which can go up and down like a yoyo. Sometimes, we’re up. Sometimes, we’re down. With You, there are no ups and down – You’re always the faithful God. You’re always near to us – even when we feel that You’re far away from us. We’ve wandered far away from You – but You’re always near to us. Thank You, Lord, that You are always with us.

Lord, Your way is the best way.

Genesis 29:1-30 Lord, Your way is the best way. We, often, wander off on our own. We forget that we are called to follow You, to walk in Your footsteps. Again and again, we need to be reminded that Your way is the best way. Help us to see that Your way is a wonderful way - even when it turns out to be very different from what we had expected.

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

Before the creation, there is the Creator.

Genesis 1:1-2:3 Before the creation, there is the Creator. * He is the chief focus of attention in the Bible’s first chapter. Wherever we look in Genesis 1, we see the word, God. This is about Him. Genesis 1 speaks about us. It tells us where we have come from. We have come from God. He is our Creator. Take away God, and our life has no meaning, no purpose, no direction. * Move on from the Bible’s first chapter. Read the rest of Genesis, the rest of the Old Testament,the rest of the Bible. What do you find? The Bible is a Book about God. It’s not only a Book about God. It’s a Book that has been given to us by God. It’s His Word. * What about our faith and our life? Our faith comes to us from God. Our life has been given to us by God. We are to put our faith in God. We are to live our life for God. * “God said, Let there be light, and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). The light of God’s love and holiness. “He created us in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). Cre

Lord, when You speak to us ...

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 gives us the power to ‘walk in the light’ ( 1 John 1:7 ) with You. Lead us in the way of fruitfulness - the way of “love, joy, peace ..." ( Galatians 5:22-23 ) .

Lord, we thank You that we're not left to go it alone.

Genesis 27:41-28:9 Lord, we thank You that we're not left to go it alone. You've given us Your Spirit - the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit who leads us to Jesus, the Spirit who makes us more like Jesus. Thank You, Lord - with Your Spirit, we can go from strength to strength. Help us to walk in Your Spirit.

Lord, help us to stand upon Your Word.

Genesis 31:43-32:21 Lord, help us to stand upon Your Word. You have given us a firm foundation for our faith. You have given us Your salvation. When everything around is shaking, we can stand firm because we know that You are our God. You are the God who has saved us through the death of Your Son. You are the God who gives us new power for living - the power of the Holy Spirit. You are the God who will lead us into the glory of Your eternal Kingdom - Your Kingdom of everlasting love, everlasting life and everlasting light.