Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2020

What blessing comes to us when the Holy Spirit comes to us!

Numbers 29:1-40   What blessing comes to us when the Holy Spirit comes to us! We thank You, Lord, for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Before the Holy Spirit can work through - to bring others to Christ, He must work in us - yo make us more like Christ. When, Lord, we pray for blessing, help us to pray for "the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).

Be Faithful - In Hearing, Reading And Doing God's Word.

‘Go to meet the man of God and inquire of the Lord through him’ (2 Kings 8:8). God’s servants, appointed by Him to serve the people in His Name, play a significant part in leading the people to a deeper knowledge of God. They bring the Word of God to the people. That is what they have been called to do. It is good to have faithful teaching from God’s Word. There needs also to be faithful hearing, reading and doing of God’s Word. God’s servants can take us so far – and no further. You can take a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink! God’s servants say, ‘Here are ‘the wells of salvation’’. It is up to the people themselves to take the next step: ‘With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation’ (Isaiah 12:3). God’s Word is provided for you. It is delivered to you. What are you doing with it?

At The Lord's Table, We Remember Him - And We Respond To Him.

John 6:1-59 In the Lord’s Supper, Jesus stands before us as the One who calls for our decision. There is no automatic guarantee that all who hear the preaching of God’s Word do, in fact, receive the blessing of which God’s Word speaks. There is no automatic guarantee that all who receive the blessing to which these symbols point. Jesus stands before us, saying to us, “What is your response to Me?”

Speaking The Word Of Truth, Walking In The Way Of Truth

Numbers 22:1-24:25 The story of Balaam concerns the challenge of speaking God’s Word in truth. God is the God of truth (Numbers 23:19). His messengers must speak the Word of truth.. Before we can speak God’s Word in truth, there needs to be a confession of sin, an acknowledgment of how far we have deviated from the way of truth. This confession of sin is to be accompanied by a fresh commitment to walking in the way of truth (Numbers 22:34). Speaking the Word of truth involves looking beyond ourselves to the One who is the Word of truth – our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Numbers 24:17).

Cleansing

“Jesus answered, ‘Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.’” ( John 13:10 ). * “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanses us all from sin” ( 1 John 1:7 ). When we come in faith to Jesus Christ, our Saviour, we receive complete cleansing – “The vilest offender who truly believes that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.” ”Every sin had to go ‘neath the cleansing flow.”  * “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, keeps on cleansing us from all sin” ( 1 John 1:7 ). Coming to Christ and receiving the forgiveness of our sins is just the beginning of our walk in God. Through faith in our Saviour, we become God’s children. Becoming God’s children through faith in Christ is the beginning of our new life in Christ. God is calling us to grow in Christ. He is calling us to become mature believers. How are we to grow in Christ? How are to become mature believers? Often, sin will come betwee

Like A Roaring Lion!

Daniel 6:1-28 The deliverance of Daniel from the mouths of the lions - What a great miracle this is! It points forward to an even greater miracle - the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why is the resurrection a greater miracle? - It seemed almost inevitable that Daniel would be killed, but he didn’t actually die. Jesus did die. The shadow of death hung over Daniel, but death did not take him. Jesus was raised from death. He was “crucified, dead and buried” - and, after all that, He was raised to life. The message of Daniel’s deliverance from the mouths of the lions - “For He is the living God, and He endures forever; His Kingdom will never be destroyed, and His dominion has no end” (Daniel 6:26). This is the message of Jesus’ resurrection. Daniel’s deliverance gives us a glimpse of God’s glory. Jesus’ resurrection is a marvellous and mighty revelation of the eternal God and eternal life (see 1 John 5:20 - “Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

I will praise the Lord ...

Psalm 111:1-10  Hallelujah! Jesus Christ is risen today - a celebration for Easter, and every Lord’s Day.  * At the start of the Psalm - “I will praise the Lord” (Psalm 111:1).  * At the end of the Psalm - “His praise endures forever” (Psalm 111:10). In our worship, there is to be both “the fear of the Lord” (Psalm 111:10) and trust in the Lord - “the Lord is gracious and compassionate... He has sent redemption to His people” (Psalm 111:4,9). We give thanks to the Lord for His love, but we must never forget that “His Name is holy and awe-inspiring” (Psalm 111:9).  * The character of God: He is holy, He is love.  * The message of the Gospel: In love for us, the holy God has provided a way for our sins to be forgiven. These are the truths of God’s Word which are to shape our lives, making us more holy and more loving.

How Great Is Our God!

"Who can speak about all the mighty things the Lord has done? Who can announce all the things for which He is worthy of praise?" (Psalm 106:2). There is always more to be said about the Lord than we can ever say. When we have said all that we can say, we have not said enough. The Lord is always greater than all our words about Him. How great is our God! How great is His mighty work of salvation! Praise be to His Name - the Name of our salvation.

If, Lord, we are to live for You, we must learn to die to self:

Numbers 30:1-31:20 If, Lord, we are to live for You, we must learn to die to self: "Put to death what is earthly in you ... put off the old nature .... put on the new nature" (Colossians 3:5-11). When there is less of self in us and more of Christ in us, there will be more blessing for others: "death is at work in us, but life in you" (2 Corinthians 4:12).

A Biblical Approach to Theodicy

This article was published in ”Evangel", 10.2 (Summer 1992): 25-29. [p.25] Introduction We approach theodicy from two angles: the authority of Scripture and the need for contemporary relevance. These two approaches should not be set over against each other. They are to be held together. If we believe that Scripture is ‘the living and abiding word of God’ (1 Peter 1:23), this will influence the way in which we seek to attain contemporary relevance. If we are inclined to lightly set aside the Scriptures with a view to being relevant, our procedure carries with it the implied denial of the ‘living and abiding’ character of Scripture. If, on the other hand, we are firmly convinced that the Bible is ‘the living and abiding word of God’, we will not view the Bible as an obstacle to contemporary relevance. Rather, we will see this ‘living and abiding word of God’ as the foundation of relevance. Normative Scripture and Apologetics A real commitment to the normativity of Sc

The Holy Spirit in the Life of Faith

The Holy Spirit is the Breath of God. All Scripture is God-breathed. We experience the Breath of God upon our life when we listen attentively to the God-breathed Scriptures. Paul speaks, in 2 Timothy 3:15-17, of the   relationship between the Breath of God (the Holy Spirit) and the God-breathed Word (the Holy Scriptures) - 'the Holy Scriptures ... are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work'. 1) The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to make us wise.     The wisdom which comes from the Spirit and the Word is a special kind of wisdom. It is not the wisdom of this world. It is the wisdom which is bound up with Christ, salvation and faith. Worldly wisdom places great value on intellectual attainment. It emphasizes the importance of getting on in the world. True spiritual

Paul And James On Faith And Works

James' attack on " dead faith" (G. C. Berkouwer, Faith and Justification , 137) and his protest for faith as "a truly experienced reality" (136), which dominates the whole of life, does not conflict with Paul who speaks against the works of the law but not against the works of faith.

A Triumphant Entry Into God's Etenal Kingdom

“Look,” Stephen said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). Immediately after this great  vision of his Saviour, Stephen prayed two prayers - “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7:59); - “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). Stephen’s death wasn’t a sad exit from this world. It was a triumphant entry into God’s eternal Kingdom. Through faith in Christ, we can die triumphantly.

Raised From The Dead!

“God raised Jesus Christ from the dead” (Acts 2:24). Did this become true only because a lot of people said that it was true? Has it become false because many people refuse to believe that it’s true? No! It’s God’s great miracle. Death has been defeated. There is hope. Death will not triumph over us. Jesus Christ is Lord.

No Mighty Triumph For Satan, Abundant Blessing From God

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

Salvation In No One Else!

Peter preached Christ with great boldness: ‘There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’(Acts 4:12). This boldness came from the Holy Spirit. Peter was ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’(Acts 4:8). Don’t say, ‘I‘m no Peter’. Peter failed his Lord and had to be restored (Matthew 26:69-75; John 21:15-17). Peter drew great strength from ‘the company of those who believed’. They ‘gathered together’ for prayer. They ‘were of one heart and soul’...’(Acts 4:31-33). Why did God deal so severely with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)? This was the start of something great. God refused to let His work be spoiled! There is a warning for us: Don’t pretend to be more holy than you really are. God sees what you’re really like. ‘Search me, O God...’(Psalm 139:23-24). T here was great blessing: ‘More than ever believers were added to the Lord’(Acts 5:14). There was persecution (Acts 5:17-18). This did not hinder

Stephen and his Saviour

"Look," Stephen said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7:56). Immediately after this great  vision of his Saviour, Stephen prayed two prayers  - "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:59);  - "Lord, do not hold this sin against them" (Acts 7:60). Stephen's death wasn't a sad exit from this world. It was a triumphant entry into God's eternal Kingdom. Through faith in Christ, we can die triumphantly.

There Is Only One Kingdom Which Stands Forever - The Kingdom Of God.

Daniel 1:1-2:16 ‘Daniel resolved not to defile himself’(8). Daniel was devoted to the Lord. It was not easy to live as the Lord’s faithful servant. His dedication to the Lord was put to the test - ‘Test your servants’(12). Our faith is put to the test. We ‘suffer many trials’. Why does God allow our faith to be tested by ‘all kinds of trials? - ‘The testing of your faith produces steadfastness’. ‘These have come so that your faith, which is much more precious than gold, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed’(1 Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-3). Knowing that ‘every trial falls from above, traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love’, may we learn to ‘trust God fully’ and ‘find Him wholly true’(Mission Praise, 421). Daniel 2:17-49 ‘In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom that will never be destroyed’(44). There is only one Kingdom which stands forever - the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom is eter

So many people are turning away from You, Lord.

Psalm 79:1-13 So many people are turning away from You, Lord. They no longer worship You. We wonder, “Can things be turned around?” It would be so easy to give up and go the way of the world. “Help us, O God of our salvation” (Psalm 79:9) – to keep on praising You: “W, Your people, the flock which You shepherd, will give thanks to You forever. We will praise You throughout every generation” (Psalm 79:13).

Celebrating The Lord's Supper In Joyful Obedience

1 Corinthians 11:1-34 We celebrate the Lord’s Supper (23-26). We take note of what Paul says about the way we are to come to the Lord’s Table (27-29). What’s this all about? Is it about the whole thing looking good - impressive? Paul gives us something to think about in verse 22 - ‘Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the Church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?’ In Paul’s questions, we hear an echo of the Old Testament prophets ( Isaiah 1:12-20 ; Amos 5:21-24 ). We rejoice in John 3:16 - ‘God so loved the world…’. Let’s not forget 1 John 3:16-18 - ‘let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.’ Jesus says, ‘…first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift’ ( Matthew 5:23-24 ). Don’t just think about it. Act on it ( James1:22-25 ; 2:14-17 )!

Let's Live As Servants Of Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:25-8:13 We are to ‘use the things of the world’ without becoming ‘engrossed in them’ (31). Becoming more worldly in our way of living is not a purely personal thing. We harm other people ‘for whom Christ died’. They look to us for a godly example and we let them down. We ‘sin against them’. We ‘sin against Christ’. Our choices affect other people. We choose a self-centred life. We cause them to ‘fall into sin.’ We live a life of ‘love’, and they are ‘built up’ in their faith (11-13,1; Matthew 18:5-7 , 10 ). How are we to live? Are we to become preoccupied with how our actions affect those who watch our every move? That could become very confusing and distracting. We must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must live ‘not ... as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart...’ ( Ephesians 6:6-7 ).

Great God, Great Love, Great Faithfulness

Psalm 145:1-21   ‘Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. His greatness is beyond understanding’. We worship You, Lord - our great God : ‘I will exalt You, my God the King. I will praise Your Name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise You and extol Your Name for ever and ever’ (Psalm 145:1-3). You, Lord, are the God whom we worship. You are so much greater than the worship we bring to You. Our worship is to be a ‘joyful celebration’. We celebrate Your great love : ‘The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love’. We rejoice in Your great faithfulness : ‘The Lord is faithful to all His promises’. Here on earth, we have only begun to worship You, our great God. Our worship will continue in Your ‘everlasting Kingdom’. There, we will ‘praise Your Name for ever and ever’ (Psalm 145:7-8,13,21). 

Beyond The ‘Pain’ Of ‘Discipline’, There Is ‘The Peaceful Fruit Of Righteousness.’

2 Samuel 7:1-29 David was king. God was looking ahead to the next king, Solomon. Knowing the kind of man Solomon would become, God speaks of chastening: ‘When he does wrong, I will chasten him’. This chastening is an expression of God’s ‘steadfast love’: ‘Those whom I love, I rebuke and chasten’. How do we respond to God’s chastening? Don’t be like ‘Saul’. He was ‘put away from’ being king because of his continual disobedience. ‘Be zealous and repent’. When you are being chastened, don’t forget the love of God: ‘The Lord disciplines him whom He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives’. Why does God chasten His children? - ‘He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness’. Beyond the ‘pain’ of ‘discipline’, there is ‘the peaceful fruit of righteousness’(14-15; Revelation 3:19; Hebrews 12:5-11). 2 Samuel 8:1-9:13 David was involved in many battles with his enemies. Their antagonism had been aroused by his strong stand for the Lord. David enjoyed

How, Lord, do we receive Your strength?

Psalm 105:1-22 ‘Look to the Lord and His strength ; seek His face always. Remember the wonderful works that He has done...’(Psalm 105:4-5). Lord, You give strength to those who put their trust in You. Trusting in Christ, we have this great testimony: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’(Philippians 4:13). How, Lord, do we receive Your strength? We must '‘seek Your face always'. We must not think we can face difficult circumstances in our strength. Without Your strength, we will be defeated. You have helped us in the past. Help us never to forget this. Help us to give thanks to You for every victory won. As we face temptation, help us to remember Your promise of victory: ‘God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your strength. With the temptation, He will also provide the way of escape...’(1 Corinthians 10:13).

Some things are worth repeating!

Psalm 107:1-43   Lord, there are some things that are worth repeating! The story of Your amazing grace is worth repeating over and over again - ‘Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress’(Psalm 107:6,13,19,28). The call to praise You is also something we need to hear again and again - ‘Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men’(Psalm 107:8,15,21,31). Help us, Lord, 'consider Your great love.' Help us to ‘give thanks to You’(Psalm 107:43,1). 

What, Lord, are we to do when the world, the flesh and the devil are threatening to overwhelm us?

Psalm 109:1-31   Lord, we come to You, recognizing that, without You, our situation is hopeless - ‘I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me. I fade away like an evening shadow’(Psalm 109:22). When our enemies are on the attack, we are no match for them. What are we to do when the world, the flesh and the devil are threatening to overwhelm us? We must come to You, Lord, praying for Your help, asking You to save us - ‘Help me, O Lord my God; save me in accordance with Your love’(Psalm 109:26). Help us, Lord, to look away from ourselves and our own weakness. Help us to put our trust in You and Your strength. You will not fail us. You ‘stand beside’ us in our time of testing. You ‘save’ us from our enemies. Help us to keep on praising You: ‘I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth. I will praise Him among many people...’(Psalm 109:30-31).

We come to You, Lord, in our weakness, and You ‘renew our strength.’

Psalm 110:1-7   ‘The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand...’(Psalm 110:1). Lord, we read these words, and we think of our Lord Jesus Christ: When ‘He was taken up into heaven, He sat at the right hand of God’(Mark 16:19). When Jesus ascended to Your Father’s right hand, the Holy Spirit was sent down from heaven to fill our lives with Your blessing (John 7:37-39). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, our lives are changed: ‘In the Day of Your power, Your people will come to You willingly...’. We come to You, Lord, in our weakness, and You ‘renew our strength’. We come to You in our weariness, and we are ‘refreshed’ by Your ‘streams of living water’(Psalm 110,7). ‘Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace. Streams of mercy never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise.’

The Lord Is Our Rock.

Psalm 144:1-15   ‘Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle’(Psalm 144:1). Lord, You are ‘the One who gives victory’ to Your people (Psalm 144:10). What a great God You are! You are ‘our loving God, our Fortress, our Stronghold, our Deliverer, our Shield’ (Psalm 144:2). What great blessing You send into our lives! You fight for us (Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 1:30; 3: 22; Nehemiah 4:20). You are ‘our Strength’ (Psalm 28:7-8; Psalm 59:17). ‘With God we shall gain the victory’ (Psalm 60:12). We pray You will pour out Your blessing upon us: ‘Part Your heavens, O Lord, and come down... Reach down Your hand from on high...’ (Psalm 144:5,7). Lord, we think of how much You have blessed us. Help us to sing our song of praise to You: ‘I will sing a new song to You, O God’ (Psalm 144:9). 

Lord, You have so much to teach us – and we have so much to learn.

Psalm 119:97-120 Lord, You have so much to teach us – and we have so much to learn. How do we learn from You? – You open up Your Word to us. You speak to us words of life. You shine Your light upon us. You show us how much You love us. Every day You have something to say to us. Every day, You have something to share with us. Every day, You show us more of Your love for us. Help us, each and every day, to take time to learn from You. Throughout life, Lord, we have to make choices. Some choices are relatively straightforward. Others are very much more difficult. Some choices don’t affect the rest of our life very much. There are, however, choices which affect the whole of our life. Help us, Lord, to make the one choice which is more important than any other – Choosing the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Those who refuse to choose are ‘double-minded’(Psalm 119:113). They can’t make up their mind. They know that they should be following Christ – but they are still ‘in

Lord, we are surrounded by so many enemies ... What are we to do?

Psalm 3:1-6 Lord, we are surrounded by so many enemies. They are Your enemies, enemies of Your Gospel, enemies of Your truth, What are we to do? What can we do? Left to ourselves, we are helpless. Our situation is hopeless – until You come to us with Your love and Your power. You assure us that You love us. You are with us and You lead us in the pathway of holiness and victory. You lead us on the pathway that brings glory to You.