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Showing posts from December, 2019

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).

We thank You, Lord, that we have Your wonderful promise - "The Lord your God is with you" - as well as Your clear command - "Be strong."

Joshua 1:1-18 We thank You, Lord, that we have Your wonderful promise - "The Lord your God is with you" - as well as Your clear command - "Be strong" (Joshua 1:9). Without Your promise, the command is no use. Again and again, we fail to keep Your commands. Again and again, we need to be reassured. You are still with us. This is what we need to hear. This is where our strength comes from. It comes from Your promise. It comes from knowing that You never fail us. You have never failed us. You never will fail us.

Where does victory come from?

Joshua 11:16-12:24 Where does victory come from? Does it come from ourselves? No! It comes from You, Lord. You give us the victory. We give You the glory: "To God be the glory! Great things He has done. So loved He the world that He gave us His Son ... Praise the Lord!"

When we're following You, Lord, Satan is never very far away.

Joshua 9:1-10:15 When we're following You, Lord, Satan is never very far away. He's always looking for ways of tripping us up and leading us away from You. Help us, Lord, to remember that You are stronger than Satan. Here-and-now, Satan has his successes - but he will not win the final victory. He will be defeated (Revelation 20:10) - and it will be clear to all that You are "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:16).

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.

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 ).

God's Everlasting Love

God says to us, “I love you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). Through His love, we have “a happy song” to sing (Jeremiah 31:7). Through His love, we are “changed.” Our life is “turned around” (Jeremiah 31:18). The love of God for us is revealed most powerfully in His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is the fulfilment of the prophecy in Jeremiah 31:31-34. When we consider Him – how wonderful He is – and all He has done for us, we will “give thanks to the Lord”, rejoicing in His goodness and praising Him for “His love which endures for ever.” We see His love – supremely – in “the righteous branch” – Jesus: “The Lord our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:15-16).

Our sin is sad. Our sin is shameful. Can anything be done about our sin?

2 Samuel 3:1-39 Our sin is sad. Our sin is shameful. Can anything be done about our sin? When, Lord, we think about our sin, help us to remember this: You have done something about our sin. Our sin threatens to overwhelm us. we feel like we're going down. We don't have a chance. we can't do anything about it. We can't - but You can! You can - because You have! When Jesus died and rose again, He triumphed over sin. He won the victory for us. That was a long time ago - but it's still the reason we believe that Your triumph can become real in us and through us. What You did then, You can still do now. You raised Jesus from the dead. Give us Your strength to "walk with You in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).

There's only one King of kings.

As we read of what is happening among the nations, both in the Bible and today’s news, we must never forget this - the Lord our God is “enthroned over the angels.” He alone is the God of the kingdoms of the world.” He “made heaven and earth” (Isaiah 37:16). As we rejoice in this truth concerning God, we must pray that “all the kingdoms on earth will know that He is the Lord” (Isaiah 37:20). As we read about kings - Sennacherib (Isaiah 37) and Hezekiah (Isaiah 38-39), we must remember that God’s Word concerns all of us. We are called to speak the Word of God with boldness - “Hear the Word of the Lord” (Isaiah 39:5) - and to receive the Word of God with humility - “The Lord’s Word that you have spoken is good” (Isaiah 39:8).

Lord, we thank You for Your Word.

Numbers 2:1-34 Lord, we thank You for Your Word. You have spoken to us. You are still speaking to us. It's Your Word that leads us on into Your future. Help us to listen to what You are saying to us, to build our lives on Your Word, to let Your Word flow out from us, to bring blessing to many.

Help us, Lord, to take sin seriously.

Joshua 7:1-26 Help us, Lord, to take sin seriously. The world tells us that it doesn't matter how we live. Your Word tells us that it does matter how we live. Help us to think about our way of living. Help us to be honest with ourselves - to be honest with You: Are we living to please ourselves - or to bring glory to You?

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.

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.

Sometimes, Lord, it seems like You have left us.

2 Samuel 13:1-39 Sometimes, Lord, it seems like You have left us. We feel like we're looking for You, but we're not finding You. We ask, "Where have You gone?" - then we start thinking, "Have you really left us?" or "Are we the ones who have wandered away from You?" Call us back to Yourself, Lord. Show us where we've gone wrong. Lift us above our changeable feelings into Your unchangeable love. Show us that You're beside us every step of the way - especially when we find it difficult to feel that You're really with us.

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.

Philippians 3:12-4:23 ‘Christ Jesus has made me His own’(3:12). In Paul`s words, we hear an echo of Jesus` words, ‘You did not choose Me... I chose you’(John 15:16). Christ has claimed us for Himself. He has laid claim to every part of our life. We are to ‘rejoice in the Lord always’(4). We are to bring ‘everything’ to Him in prayer (6). We are to be ‘content in all circumstances’(4:11-12). We are to face every challenge with confidence in His strength - ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’(4:13). We are to trust Him to ‘supply’ our ‘every need’(4:19). In every situation, we can come to the Lord, trusting in His promise: ‘the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’(7). Whatever is happening, take it to the Lord in prayer and let Him give you His peace.

The Word of God - Spoken In The Power Of The Spirit Of God

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” ( Psalm 19:7 ). God’s Word does not return to Him empty. It accomplishes the purpose for which He sent it ( Isaiah 55:11 ). Often, we feel like God’s Word returns to us empty. It never returns to Him empty. Wherever God’s Word is preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, God is at work. He is doing more than we realize. Some may refuse to listen to the voice of the Spirit – but the Spirit keeps on speaking to them, calling them to return to the Lord and receive His free gift of salvation: “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon” ( Isaiah 55:6-7 ). Let us pray that the Word of God will be spoken in the power of the Spirit of God: The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul ( Psalm 19:7 ). Psalm 19:14 Pray that ‘the

Singing The Lord's Song

“By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:1-4). Here on earth, we are always “in a foreign land”. We haven’t yet arrived safely at our heavenly home. In this “foreign” land, we are called to keep on singing the songs of the Lord. We live in an atmosphere of rebellion. Let us keep on praying that God will send revival. Can depressing situations be turned out? – Our hope is not in ourselves. It is in the Lord. He is “mighty to save” (Isaiah 63:2).

The faithfulness of God

Psalm 89 begins and ends with the faithfulness of God (Psalm 89:1,49). As we think of God, we say, concerning Him, “Your faithfulness stands firm in the heavens” (Psalm 89:2). “O Lord, the heavens praise your miracles and Your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones” (Psalm 89:5). “Mighty Lord, even Your faithfulness surrounds You” (Psalm 89:8).

Our God? or Ourselves?

Who is most important to us? Our God or ourselves (Zechariah 7:5-6)? This is the challenge that is placed before us by the prophets of God. Our way of thinking and our way of living must be laid bare by the Word of the Lord. God wants us to see ourselves as we really are. He wants us to see Him as He really is. By ourselves, we cannot move from a self-centred life to a God-centred life, but we can look to the Lord to change us. When we ask for the Lord's help, we don't suddenly become perfect, but we do receive help from the Lord - help to become more what He wants us to be. We need both truth and holiness (Zechariah 8:3). Truth is not just something to be believed. Truth changes us. Truth leads us into the pathways of holiness. We need both "truth and peace" (Zechariah 8:19). When truth changes us, it leads us into the paths of peace. The holy life is not to be a life of pride. That is Pharisaism. We think that holiness is all our own doing. The way o

The Power Of The Spirit

The work of God is not done in our own strength. We need the superior power of God's Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). The power of the Spirit comes to us as the power of love, the power of Christ, the power of the Gospel. This is the power that reaches us and changes us. There  is no power like the power  of God's Spirit. The power of God's Spirit does not come in an entirely supernatural way. It comes to us through people:. "Zerubbabel's hands have laid the foundation of this House, and his hands will finish it" (Zechariah 4:9). It is the Lord who uses us in His service. We must never forget that the real power comes from Him: "Then you will know that the Lord of Armies has sent me to you" (Zechariah 4:9). This supernatural dimension is at the heart of every real work of God. When we emphasize this supernatural dimension. This something that we must never forget - if we are to honour the Lord, truly and fully. God works through ordinary people,

The Silencing Of Satan ... Walking In The Spirit

"I, the Lord, silence you, Satan!" (Zechariah 3:2). We cannot silence Satan. The Lord can silence Satan. This is why we must answer Satan with the Word of the Lord. Satan has no answer to the Word of the Lord. "See, I have taken your sin away from you, and I will dress you in fine clothing" (Zechariah 3:4). This is God's great salvation: our sin is removed, and we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Satan has no answer to this. He may try to accuse us, but the Lord's Word will prevail over him: "For those who are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation" (Romans 8:1). Those who have been forgiven by the Lord are called to "live according to His ways" (Zechariah 3:7). We are to walk in the Spirit. He gives life to us. He raises us up from and above the way of sin and death (Romans 8:2). "These men are a sign of things to come" (Zechariah 3:8) - a sign that pointed forward to Jesus, God's Servant, "

The Lord Is Building His Church. Let Us Build For Him.

"A house in Shinar (Babylonia)" (Zechariah 5:11). Babylon is symbolic of the world that opposes God and His purpose. Even in 'Babylon', an unbelieving and disobedient world, God is building His House. "They are going to build a House" - There are human builders, but, ultimately, this is the work of the Lord. All the glory belongs to Him. We must not sit back, and say, "You do it, Lord." We acknowledge that, without God, no real work of lasting value will be done - but we also say, "We commit ourselves to You, Lord. We will not leave your work undone." "Here  is the man whose name is Branch ... He will rebuild the Lord's Temple" (Zechariah 6:12), We read these words. We think of Jesus and His promise, "I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). The servants of the Lord are sent out to different places (Zechariah 6:1-7). The "Spirit" of the Lor

The Nativity of the Lord, Midnight: Isaiah 9:1-8; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14

Good News of great joy for all nations and all generations The prophecy has been spoken - ‘To us a Child is born, to us a Son is given...’. The prophecy has been fulfilled - ‘Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you: He is Christ the Lord’. Jesus Christ is our great Saviour. He is our ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6: Luke 2:11). Jesus Christ has brought to us a great salvation. Through faith in Him, we enter God’s heavenly and eternal ‘Kingdom’ (Isaiah 9:7: Luke 1:30-33). This is ‘Good News of great joy’ - for ‘all the people’, for ‘all generations’. Let us rejoice in the Lord, as Mary, the mother of Jesus, did - ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour... for the Mighty One has done great things for me...’. Let us join with the angels in saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest...’ (Luke 2:10; 1:46-50; 2:14). We live by the grace of God. We look forward to the glory of God.

Joy to the world ...

If we are to come to a true understanding of the story of Jesus Christ, we must not begin by opening our Bibles at the beginning of the New Testament – Matthew 1:1. We must go back into the Old Testament. We must seek to understand what the prophets said, as they looked forward to the coming of Jesus Christ, the Saviour. A true understanding of the story of Jesus Christ will not leave us in the first two chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. We need to move beyond the story of Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem, led on to a deeper understanding of all that Jesus came to do for us. From Bethlehem, then, we look back to learn from the prophets and we look forward to learn from the rest of the New Testament story. With great prophetic insight, Isaiah spoke of the coming Christ. He speaks of Christ’s birth, ministry, death and resurrection. From Isaiah, we learn of who Jesus was, what He did and what was done to Him. When we come to Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the birth of Christ ( Isa

Lord, we thank You for Jesus - There is no-one like Him.

Genesis 7:1-24 Lord, we thank You for Jesus - There is no-one like Him. What a great Saviour He is! He does for us something that we could never – ever – do for ourselves. He forgives our sins – and He forgets them! The forgiveness of all our sins - What a great blessing this is! We read the words, “I will remember their sins no more” – and we think to ourselves, “How wonderful is this?” We think of Jesus. We think of all that He has done for us. He was crucified for us. He has risen for us. Our sins have been forgiven – and forgotten. Can we even begin to understand this? Do we need to understand all of this? We do not understand it all. How can we possibly understand all that You have done for us?    “Jesus Christ, we greet You! … risen from the grave … You have come: not to answer our questions, but to show us Your face” ( Common Order , Prayer for Easter). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus – Your Son, our Saviour. Thank You for His love – Love is shining from His face.

The Word of God at the heart of our life

Psalm 119 is a personal prayer of devotion to the Lord. It is clear, throughout this Psalm, that our relationship with God is maintained as we build our lives upon his written Word. What blessing the Word of God has brought into the life of the Psalmist! This is still the way of blessing today - “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my faith” (Psalm 119:105). It is with the Word of God at the heart of our life that we face the future with confidence: “My hope is based on Your Word” (Psalm 119:147).

God's Way Is The Best Way.

“As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). The Lord knows what He has planned for each one of us. There are no surprises for Him. The Lord doesn’t leave us to travel on our own. He’s with us every step of the way. When we wonder about what’s happening in our lives, He is there, teaching us to say from the heart, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30; 2 Samuel 22:31). He’s leading us to His Son, Jesus. He’s showing us our suffering Saviour. He’s showing us our risen Lord. He’s showing us that there is a way of peace, joy and love. It’s the way of Jesus. It’s the way of trusting Him. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He will lead you in His way. God’s blessing will surround you each day.

Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength ...

Second Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8 Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. ‘The Lord is the everlasting God... He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak... those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength...’ (Isaiah 40:28-31). Far too often, we say, ‘I can’t’when we really mean ‘I won’t’. ‘I can’t’- This is an insult to the power of God. The Lord calls us to do something special for Him. We say, ‘I can’t’. What are we really saying? This is what we are saying - ‘Lord, I don’t believe Your promise - “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”’. Don’t say, ‘I can’t’. Don’t get so busy with other things that you fail to wait upon the Lord and renew your strength. When the Lord calls you to serve Him, say, ‘Yes, Lord, I will wait upon You. I will renew my strength. I will do Your will’. O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee. Send a revival. Start the work i

Jesus Christ is God’s Answer to our prayer ...

First Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 Jesus Christ is God’s Answer to our prayer. We confess our sins to God - ‘We sinned... All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags’. We look to God for forgiveness - ‘Do not remember our sins for ever’ (Isaiah 64:5-6, 9). We know that God hears and answers our prayer. Jesus Christ is God’s Answer to our prayer. He has ‘come down’ from heaven to earth. ‘The Son of the Most High’ has been ‘born’ into our world. Jesus Christ is God’s way of saying ‘Here am I! Here am I!’ He is ‘God with us’ (Isaiah 64:1; 65:1; Luke 1:32, 35; Matthew 1:23). ‘The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin’. Let us ‘confess our sins’. ‘The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin’- Let us come to God with faith, believing that He ‘will forgive our sins’. (1 John 1:7, 9). Let us rejoice in Jesus, our Saviour! We pray for salva

"The Word Made Flesh" - Then And Now

“The Word became flesh” then so that He might be made flesh in us now (John 1:14).  The Son of God became “Emmanuel” (God with us) so that He might be “God with us” here-and-now. “Jesus … has risen” (Matthew 28:5-6) – so that, as the living Christ, He might live in us. Our faith is grounded in the great facts of the Gospel: The Word became flesh, Jesus has risen. The Saviour was born for us. He lived for us. He died for us. He rose for us. All that He has done for us must become a powerful reality in us . This is the work of the Holy Spirit. ‘For us’ – we must never forget this. We do not jump straight to ‘In us.’ To those who speak of a inner spirituality which is not grounded in the historical reality of the great events of the Gospel, the Word of God says, “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God” (1 John 4:2-3),  “If Christ has not been raised, your fai

The Way Of Obedience Is The Way Of Blessing.

Deuteronomy 29:1-29 God has done great things for His people – ‘in the land of Egypt… in the wilderness’(2,5). Acknowledging Him to be the Lord their God, they were to live in obedience to Him (6,9). The way of obedience is the way of blessing. Moses warns the people that they must not depart from the way of blessing. Moses warns the people that they must not depart from the way of obedience (16-28). Turning away from the Lord leads to judgment – ‘anger and fury and great wrath’(24-28). There are ‘secret things’. There are ‘things that are revealed’. Some ‘things’ we will never understand. These ‘things belong to the Lord our God’. There are many ‘things’ we have learned and have firmly believed. ‘The things that are revealed’ are found in ‘the Holy Scriptures.’ Through God’s written Word, we are brought to ‘salvation’ and we are ‘thoroughly equipped’ for Christian living (29; 2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Pray For God's Mercy. Ask Him To Make You More Holy.

Deuteronomy 28:25-68   There is nothing inevitable about the chain of events described in these verses. These are the consequences of disobedience. God is warning His people: ‘If you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God…’(28:15). Why does God warn His people of the consequences of disobedience? He wants them to draw back from the way of disobedience and follow the pathway of obedience and blessing. These ‘curses’ were avoidable. They would only happen if Israel persisted in rebelling against the Lord. We can bring ‘curses’ upon ourselves. Don’t imagine that God doesn’t care how you live. He does. That is why He calls us back from the pathway of disobedience. That is why He exhorts us to choose holiness. Read Hebrews 10:26-31; 12:25-29. Pray for God’s mercy (Luke 18:13). Ask Him to make you more holy (Hebrews 12:14).

To Understand History, We Need Revelation.

Warning against "the danger of going outside the sphere of faith into the area of observation", G. C. Berkouwer disputes the legitimacy of interpreting the ways of Providence on the basis of facts" ( The Providence of God , pp. 164-165). He aims to guard against the possibility that "everyone according to his own prejudice and subjective whim (can) canonize a certain event or national rise as a special act of God in which He reveals and demonstrates His favour" (p. 164). Acutely aware that "the interpretation of an historical event as a special revelation of Providence too easily becomes a piously disguised form of self-justification" (p. 166), Berkouwer insists that "no event speaks so clearly that we may conclude from it a certain disposition of God - as long as God Himself does not reveal that His disposition comes to expression in the given event" (p. 170). Concerning events in the history of Israel, which are recorded in Scripture, Be

A New Direction In Life

Amos begins with a humble description of himself - "one of the sheep farmers" (Amos 1:1). Being a prophet of God has nothing to do with  what we are in ourselves. It's all about God. It's all about His grace and His call. Looking after sheep - This is such an apt description of the ministry of a pastor. "The Lord roars from Zion" (Amos 1:2). These words make us think of a lion. This could be terrifying for sheep. Think of the lion - Aslan - from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (C S Lewis). It's a picture of Christ. His voice is more than a roar. It's the voice of love. The "roar" speaks of authority. The greatest authority is the authority of love. How does the Lord command our respect? He loves us. As we learn to appreciate His love, we learn to love Him. Our love for Him is inspired by His love for us. As we learn to love Him, our obedience to Him increases in strength. "The Lord has said this" (Am

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 sh

The Renewal Of Our Worship

‘Write this song, and teach it to the people of Israel’(Deuteronomy 31:19,22). Moses did not delay his obedience to God. ‘Write... Teach...’: God is speaking to us about the renewal of our worship. Don’t say, ‘It’s never been done that way before’- ‘the seven last words of the church’! Moses’ song was ‘a witness for God against the people of Israel’(Deuteronomy 31:19). It can still help us, in this generation, to confess our sin - We ‘have dealt corruptly with Him’(Deuteronomy 32:5) - and glorify our God - ‘I will proclaim the Name of the Lord’(Deuteronomy 32:3). Modern music can help us to hear afresh the ancient message: ‘Ascribe greatness to our God...’(Deuteronomy 32:3-4; Mission Praise, 40). Let us praise God ‘in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs’(Ephesians 5:18-20).

Loved By God, Let Us Love Him - More!

Deuteronomy 4:44-5:33 Obedience is grounded in salvation. The Ten Commandments (7-21) are preceded by the divine declaration: ‘I am the Lord your God’ who brought you… out of the house of bondage’(6). He has redeemed us. We are to live for Him. The Word of God was spoken to Moses before it was spoken by him (27). We cannot begin to live for the Lord until we begin to listen to Him. The way of obedience is the way of blessing. Our obedience is to be offered in a spirit of gratitude to God for His gracious salvation. Never imagine it is because of our obedience that God loves us. His love for us is always prior to our love for Him. Remember what the Lord has done for you, and your love for Him will grow stronger. Forget, and you love will grow weaker. Loved by God, let us love Him – more!

Take Your Problems To The Lord.

The Psalmist faced many difficulties. There were the problems caused by “unfaithful people” (Psalm 101:3-5). He had health problems (Psalm 102:3-5). He takes his problems to the Lord, convinced that “from everlasting to everlasting, the Lord’s mercy is on those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:17).

Out Of Our Failure - And Into The Lord's Victory ...

The end of Saul’s reign, the beginning of David’s reign For Saul, the end was tragic - “See how the mighty have fallen” (2 Samuel 1:19,25,27). David’s reign marked a new beginning. God is gracious. He gives a new beginning when we have made a mess of things. He is the God of hope. He leads us out of our failure and into His victory. David became the king of Judah (2 Samuel 2:1-7) and the king of Israel (2 Samuel 5:1-5). Behind the story of David, there is the story of God at work: “The Lord was with David”,     “The Lord had established him as king of Israel and made his kingdom famous for the sake of Israel, the Lord’s people” (2 Samuel 5:10-12). “David worships the Lord” - “I will celebrate in the Lord’s presence”, “You are great, Lord God. There is no one like You, and there is no other god except you” (2 Samuel 6:21; 2 Samuel 7:22). David trusts God - “Almighty Lord, You are God, and Your words are trustworthy” (2 Samuel 7:28). David obeys God - “David ruled all Israel

Some Thoughts for Remembrance Sunday

In our remembering, let us not forget the Lord our God, the God of our salvation, the God whose “steadfast love endures for ever” (2 Chronicles 20:21). -- Before we can understand what it means to be a peacemaker, we must understand what peace is and what it is not. There is a ‘peace’ that is ‘no peace. We speak of keeping the peace and not disturbing the peace. There is, however, a ‘peace’ which needs to be disturbed if we are to find true peace. -- “What do these stones mean?” (Joshua 4:21). The people of Israel were called to remember what God had done for them. They were called to give glory to God. The stones were to serve as a reminder to future generations. There are many things that we might wish to forget. There are some things that we must make sure that we keep on remembering. -- The Book of Deuteronomy teaches us much about remembering. “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they wil

Lord, You are our Creator.

Genesis 1:26-2:3 Lord, You are our Creator. We have been created by You. We have been created for You. What have we done with this great blessing? We have turned away from You. We have gone our own way. We have done our own thing. Have You lost patience with us? Have You given up on us? We often feel like we are a waste of Your time - then we remember Jesus. That's when everything changes - We remember Jesus. He came from where You are. He came to where we are. From where we are to where You are - This is what Jesus does for us.

Lord, we look at ourselves ...

Genesis 2: 4-14 Lord, we look at ourselves, and we say, “This is my life. This is the way I’ve always been. I’ll never change. I’ll never be any different.” Is this all that we can say about ourselves? Is this what You’re saying about us? We’re always thinking about what we are. You’re always saying to us, “This is what you can become. This is what I am going to make you.” Help us to listen to what You’re saying to us. Help us to make a new “beginning” with You - as we believe and receive “the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” ( Mark 1:1 ).

Lord, You are God.

Genesis 2:15-17 Lord, You are God. Who are we to tell You what to do? Who are we to say, “We’ll do what we like” - when You’re saying to us, “I know what’s best for you.” Help us to choose Your way - and stop insisting on getting our own way. How are we to do this? Jesus tells us, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” ( John 8:36 ). How, we wonder, does Jesus make us free? He shows us “the truth” - the truth about ourselves, the truth about Jesus. We are sinners. Jesus is our Saviour. This is the truth. It’s “the truth that sets us free” ( John 8:32 ). We are sinners. Jesus is our Saviour. This is the truth that brings us out of the prison cell of our own making. This, Lord, is the truth which brings us on to the pathway of Your blessing, the pathway of true and lasting joy, the pathway to Your eternal glory.

Lord, we thank You that You have a place in Your heart for us.

Genesis 2:18-25 Lord, we thank You that You have a place in Your heart for us. Why? What have we done that You should keep on loving us? Is there something good about us - something that makes us worthy of Your love? Whatever way we look at it - the answer’s always “No.” No! No! No! There’s no way back to You, Lord, that begins with ourselves. We cannot begin with ourselves - but “Is there another starting-point?” Lord, there is only one place. We begin with Your love - “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son ... “ ( John 3:16 ). We hear these words, and we ask, “Why, Lord, have You loved us like this?” From our side, there’s no answer to this question. We can only say, “We’re sinners.” There’s nothing else we can say about ourselves. What do You, Lord, say to sinners? “God shows His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” ( Romans 5:8 ).

From Mourning - To Dancing

 * “I will honour You highly, O Lord … O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Psalm 30:1,12). At the heart of true worship, which gives much glory to God, there is thanksgiving. We must never forget that we are sinners, who have been saved by His amazing grace. We receive His grace at the Cross of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us give thanks to God for our Saviour.  * “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing” (Psalm 30:11). What the Lord does for us – This is truly amazing. He does for us what we could never do for ourselves. He does for us what no-one else could ever do for us. We look at what we are. We look at what the Lord has done for us. We say, This is ‘amazing grace.’ We say, ‘To God be the glory. Great things He has done.’  “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23). “Not to us, Lord, not to us but to Your Name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness” (Psalm 115:1).

A New Beginning!

Following the triple tragedy of the deaths of Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion (Ruth 1:3-5) and the departure of Orpah (Ruth 1:14), there was a new beginning for Naomi and Ruth.This new beginning came to them when "they came to Bethlehem" (Ruth 1:19). The town of Bethlehem marked a new beginning for them. It marks a new beginning for us - Bethlehem was the place where our Saviour was born. "They happened to enter Bethlehem just when the barley harvest began - The timing of their arrival turns our thoughts towards fruitfulness. We come to our Saviour - born at Bethlehem, and He makes us fruitful in His service. Without His help, we cannot even begin to see a harvest gathered in for Him. We must look to Him, putting our trust in Him, if we are to see His blessing in the work that we do for Him. The story of Ruth and Boaz leads us on to David (Ruth 4:22). It leads us beyond David to Christ. In this love story, we have the fulfilment of Naomi's words: "