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Showing posts from August, 2020

Bible Notes by G. Philip

For forty years, Rev George Philip (11th November 1925 - 16th February 2019) taught God's Word, faithfully and fruitfully,  at Sandyford - Henderson Memorial Church, Glasgow. Yesterday afternoon (1st March 2019), at a thanksgiving service for his life and ministry, we looked back over the years, and we said, in our hearts, "Thanks be to God! To God be the glory!" Here's a link to George's Bible reading notes, which cover most of God's Word. Bible Notes by G. Philip

The Generation Gap

The Generation Gap – The old and the young cannot or will not understand each other. How do we tackle the problem of the Generation Gap? Do we seek our answer with the adult generation? – By demanding that young people comply with their parents Do we seek our answer with the youth culture? – By demanding that adults embrace the attitude of their children Neither of these alternatives gets to the root of the problem. There is, however, a third alternative. We can take the problem to Jesus. In my own experience, the Generation Gap has never been a great problem. Why? – Because the problem was taken to Jesus. As I entered the years of adolescence and early adulthood, I committed my life to Jesus Christ.On the same night, my father also committed his life to Jesus Christ. I was fifteen. He was forty. It looked like the perfect situation for a generation gap. The generation gap never quite developed. Why? – Because we both found the perfect solution: Jesus. In Jesus Chris

Lord, You send Your blessing when Your people gather together for worship.

Psalms 133:1-134:3   Lord, You send ‘Your blessing’ when Your people gather together for worship: ‘How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity !’ (Psalm 133:1,3). Many people like to think of themselves as ‘believers’, yet they show no interest in worshipping together with Your people. What does Your Word say about this? - ‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another...’ (Hebrews 10:25). ‘Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the House of the Lord’ (Psalm 133:1; Psalm134:1). Lord, there are some people never miss a Sunday morning service - but they always miss the Sunday evening services! They are missing out on so much of Your blessing. Lord, help us to seek Your blessing on Sunday evenings as well as Sunday mornings (Psalm 134:2)!

Lord, You’re calling us to worship You with joyful thanksgiving.

Psalm 95:1-11 ‘Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord… Let us come before Him with thanksgiving … Come, let us bow down in worship …’(Psalm 95:1-2,6). Lord, You’re calling us to worship You with joyful thanksgiving. We rejoice in You. We give thanks for Your love. You are ‘the great God’. You are ‘our God’. You are the God of creation – ‘In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land’. You are the God of salvation – ‘We are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care’(Psalm 95:3-5,7). When, Lord, we hear You calling us to worship You with joyful thanksgiving, help us to open our hearts to You: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts’(7-8). When we hear Your call to worship, may we open our hearts to the Spirit of worship.

God Is Not Exalted Because We Exalt Him. We Exalt Him Because He Is Exalted.

Psalms 92:1-93:5 ‘You, O Lord, are exalted for ever… The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty…’(Psalm 92:8; Psalm 93:1-2). You, Lord, are ‘exalted’. Help us to exalt You in our worship. You are not exalted because we exalt You. We exalt You because You are exalted. You are ‘exalted far above all gods’. That is why we sing, ‘I exalt Thee, O Lord’. ‘He is exalted, the King is exalted on high’- This is the truth concerning You, Lord. ‘I will praise Him’- This is our response to Your truth. We sing, ‘Jesus, we enthrone You, we proclaim You our King’. This is our response to the eternal truth concerning our Saviour: ‘The Lord is enthroned as King for ever’. ‘From all eternity’ the Lord is ‘robed in majesty’. Help us, Lord, to respond to His majesty. Help us to ‘magnify’ You, Lord – ‘O Lord our God, how majestic is Thy Name’(Psalm 97:9; Psalm 29:10; Mission Praise , 158,217,388,507).

The Holy Spirit Leads Us In The Way Of Victory.

John 15:20 , 26 , 16:13–15 , 33 , Rom 12:2 , 2 Tim 3:12 , 1 John 5:4–5 Jesus was ‘persecuted’. We will be ‘persecuted’ - ‘all who desire to live a godly life will be persecuted’ ( John 15:20 ; 2 Timothy 3:12 ). We have no guarantee that life will be easy. In all our difficulties, ‘the Spirit of truth’ directs our attention to Jesus our Saviour ( John 15:26 ; 16:13-15 ). Whatever our problems, we draw encouragement from Jesus’ words: ‘In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’ ( John 16:33 ). Here, we have realism and faith. The world is trying to squeeze us into its own mould ( Romans 12:2 ). Sometimes, we feel like faith is slipping away. Sometimes, we feel like giving up. What are we to say to all this? ‘Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?’ - This is our faith’ ( 1 John 5:4-5 ).

Approaching the Lord’s Table: Forgiveness, Victory, Faith, God’s Word, God’s Love

As we approach the Lord’s Table, let’s think about two verses of Scripture. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). “Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler” (Psalm 91:3). The first of these verses speaks of the forgiveness of our sins. The second speaks of victory over Satan. Through the precious blood of Christ, we receive the forgiveness of our sins (1 Peter 1:18-19). Through the precious blood of Christ, we are victorious over Satan (Revelation 12:11). Let us rejoice in God’s gift of forgiveness. Let us also rejoice in His gift of victory. We do not earn God’s forgiveness. It is God’s gift. Victory is not earned. Like forgiveness, victory is God’s gift. How do we receive these great gifts of God? We come to the Cross of Christ. At the Cross, we learn that Christ to bring us forgiveness – and He died to give us victory. We receive these gifts by faith. Forgiveness and

God's Written Word - And His Living Word

"The Holy Scriptures are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). In the Bible, we have God's written Word. The Bible points us to Christ. he is God's living Word - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1,14). What do we learn as we read God's written Word? - This is what we learn: "Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so." God speaks to us His written Word so that we may come to trust in Christ, the living Word - "from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). Reading the Scriptures, we become wise for salvation as we find Christ who is our Wisdom (2 Tim

Good News for sinners

God's way of righteousness begins with this - He is " just " - and leads to this - He " justifies those who have faith in Jesus " (Romans 3:26). "For our salvation Christ came down from heaven" (Nicene Creed) - This is Good News for sinners.  As we rejoice in the "for our salvation" message of the Gospel, let us never forget the "for His glory" message!  "To God be the glory, great things He has done! So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and opened the life-gate that all may go in.   Praise the Lord!  ... Give Him the glory! "

There is hope.

Hosea 14:1-9 There is hope. There is a future. Hosea 14:9 - Conclusion: This is for us. The only way to live is the Lord’s way. Repentance (Hosea 14:2) - It’s returning to the Lord (Hosea 14:1). It’s more than “words” (Hosea 14:2). It’s a way of life. As we walk with the Lord, we learn about repentance. God speaks to us about forgiveness (Hosea 14:2). In love, He’s speaking to us. He speaks to us from the cross of Christ. The Spirit makes God’s love real to us. He brings Jesus to us. God’s love inspires our thinking and our living. Our whole life is to be an expression of our love for the Lord, a heartfelt response to His love for us - a way of saying, “Thank You, Lord”, a way of offering to the Lord the praise and worship that arises from our hearts. As we worship God, we must remember that He is not only love. He is also holiness. This is to be seen in our “return to the Lord” (Hosea 14:1), our conversion. It’s not to be a partial conversion - paying lip-service

Return To The Lord ...

Hosea 6:1-3  * “Let us return to the Lord” (Hosea 6:1). There are many blessings, waiting for us. We must come to the Lord and receive these blessings from Him.  * “He will revive us” (Hosea 6:2). This is new life in Christ. It’s new life in the Spirit. We were dead. Now, we are alive, Glory to God!  * “He will raise us up” (Hosea 6:2) - resurrection, not just a pick-me-up. God must do it. He alone can do it - and He does!  * “He will come to us like the rain” (Hosea 6:3) - “the spring showers that water the land”: This will put a spring in our step. It will send us out, with joy and strength, to serve the Lord and bring others to Him (Psalm 126:5-6).

Rivers Of Living Wather - Flowing Into Us And Flowing Out From Us

Ezekiel 47:1-12 “ankle-deep, knee-deep, up to the waist, deep enough to swim in, a river than could not be crossed on foot” (Ezekiel 47:3-5). Jerusalem - ankle-deep, all Judaea - knee deep, Samaria - up to the waist, the ends of the earth - deep enough to swim in (Acts 1:8) Before there can be witness, there needs to be worship: from a trickle to a river - John 7:37-39. The rivers of living water must flow into us before they can flow out from us. “There will be life everywhere the river goes” (Ezekiel 47:9).

The Highway

Jeremiah 31:21-30 “Set your hearts toward the highway; keep the highway in mind” (Jeremiah 31:21) - “the highway of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8): A call to the “backsliding daughter” (Jeremiah 31:22). “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied” (Proverbs 14:14). Here’s a breath prayer (breathe in for the first part, breathe out for the second part). It’s based on John 3:30 - “More of You, Lord, less of me.” “The Lord bless you... mountain of holiness” (Jeremiah 31:23), “the days are coming” (Jeremiah 31:27,31,38): God is looking towards what we will become. Taking apart the self-centred life; putting together the God-centred life (Jeremiah 31:28).

Making Choices

Isaiah 1:16-20 Each of us must make choices - not just, What suit, shirt and tie will I put on? Will I worship the Lord? or Will I stay at home? What attitude will I bring with me to church? - ‘This is just a religious habit” or “This a meeting with God. It will change my way of thinking and living.” In Isaiah 1:18-20, we read about two very different responses to God - returning to Him or rebelling against Him. When we return to the Lord, this will change the way we relate to other people (Isaiah 1:16-17). We’re not to be like Judas Iscariot - making money for himself, but paying the ultimate price: “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? (Matthew 16:26).

A major step for Abraham - and for God

Genesis 12:1-9 This was a major step for Abraham - and for God. Abraham would never be the same again. For him, this was the beginning of a journey. It was more than a journey into a new land. It was a journey into God's blessing. Notice that Abraham was "75 years old" (Genesis 12:4) when he set out on this great journey of faith and blessing. 75 years old - we don't normally expect big changes at this age. Big change - this was what God expected of Abraham. Can we ever say, "It's too late to make a new beginning with God?" No! We must never say this. Whatever age we are, we must be ready to say "Yes" to God, to move forward with Him. Pray that God will give you a new hunger for Himself, for His Word, for prayer. As we get older, are we getting colder or bolder? Do we say, "My best days are behind me? or Do we rise to new challenges?

Lord, the return of Your blessing comes with a real confession of our sin.

Ezra 9:1-10:44 Lord, the return of Your blessing comes with a real confession of our sin - "Our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens" (Ezra 9:6), You don't bless us because we deserve to be blessed. You bless us because You love us. This is where Your blessing comes from. It comes from Your love. Despite all of our sin, You encourage us to believe that You may yet "grant us some reviving to set up the House of our God" (Ezra 9:8-9).

The Bible, God, the Church and the World

We may study Scripture personally but we must not study it individualistically. Our study of Scripture must be related to God, the Church and the world. We need a revival of the apostolic devotion - “we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4). We are not to study Scripture for our own benefit only. We are to “hold fast the Word of life” by “holding forth the Word of life” (Philippians 2:16). The Word is God’s Word. The work is God’s work. The Word is to be read in God’s way. The work is to be done in God’s way. We are to read the Word of God prayerfully. The work of God - evangelism and edification - is to be done prayerfully. We are to approach God’s Word in a spirit of prayer - “Give me understanding, that I may keep Thy law and observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34). We should pray for those who preach the Word (Ephesians 6:18-20). Pray for them in their preparation. Receive the preaching prayerfully, even when the preacher is not

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

1 Samuel 16:1-23 "Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me" (Daniel Iverson). Lord, it's Your Spirit who makes the difference. He changes us. We lose heart. He gives us new strength. We feel like giving up. He keeps us going on. Thank You, Lord, for Your Holy Spirit. Lead us out of our emptiness and into Your fullness.

When, Lord, things are going badly, we start feeling sorry for ourselves ...

1 Samuel 29:1-30:15 When, Lord, things are going badly, we start feeling sorry for ourselves - when we should be getting strengthened by You. You are "our strength and our shield." You give us Your "strength" and Your "peace" (Psalm 28:7-8; Psalm 29:10-11). Give to us the peace that comes to us from knowing that we are not alone. May we not fall down in our weakness. May we stand up in Your victory.

Lord, it's not easy to keep on praying, "Your will be done."

Judges 17:1-18:13 Lord, it's not easy to keep on praying, "Your will be done." Our will gets in the way. We start thinking about what we want - and we forget about what You want. We try to get the best of both worlds - pleasing You and pleasing ourselves. We become "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:4). Help us to become more like Jesus; "I seek not My own will but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 5:30).

Help us, Lord, to take sin seriously. Help us to take Your salvation even more seriously.

1 Samuel 28:3-25 Help us, Lord, to take sin seriously - "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). Help us to take Your salvation even more seriously. Help us to believe that the story of our life is more than the story of our sin. It's also the story of Your salvation. When we are deeply aware of our sin, may we become even more deeply appreciative of Your promise of salvation: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).

What a difference there is between fear and faith.

1 Samuel 27:1-28:2 What a difference there is between fear - "I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul" - and faith - "The Lord will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine" (1 Samuel 27:1; 1 Samuel 17:37). Sometimes, fear, sometimes faith - this was the story of David's life. It's the story of our life. How, Lord, are we to overcome fear? How are we to grow strong in faith? It's Your "perfect love that casts out fear." It's Your love that makes us strong in faith and gives us the victory (1 John 4:18-19; 1 John 5:4-5). Lord, fill our hearts with Your love. May there be, in us, more faith and less fear.

Help us, Lord, to be honest with You.

1 Samuel 23:1-29 Help us, Lord, to be honest with You - Do we want to get our own way or to do Your will? Set us free from the self-centred illusion that You will always support us  in everything that we decide to do. Help us to see that there's a great difference between 'what I want' and 'what You want.' Teach us to choose Your will rather than our own will.

Deliver us, O Lord, from religion without compassion.

1 Samuel 21:1-22:23 Deliver us, O Lord, from religion without compassion. We don't want to be Pharisees. we want to be followers of Jesus. Give us compassion - but may it always be compassion without compromise. Help us not to sacrifice truth and righteousness for the sake of relevance. Help us "to be the best that we can be for truth and righteousness and Thee." Help us to see what relevance really is. Help us to see where relevance really comes from. It doesn't just emerge out of our own minds, our own creativity. It's based on truth. We didn't create truth - and we don't create relevance. "Your Word is truth" (John 17:17). Your Word is relevant - because it is truth: truth unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable. Lord, help us to be faithful to Your truth - and help us to care for people who need to be set free by Your truth, set free

Often, Lord, we feel like David - facing Goliath.

1 Samuel 17:1-58 Often, Lord, we feel like David - facing Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Everything seems too much for us. Was Goliath too much for David? He wasn't too much for You - and You were on David's side. We're not alone. Help us to remember this. When we feel weak, help us to remember that You are strong - and Your strength has been given to us. Thank You, Lord.

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven ...

1 Samuel 10:17-11:15 "Praise, my soul, the King of heaven; To His feet thy tribute bring. Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, who like thee His praise should sing?" No earthly king could ever bless us the way You, Lord, have blessed us. What a great Saviour You have given to us! Jesus is greater than any earthly king. He does for us what no earthly king could ever do for us. He brings us into Your everlasting Kingdom.

Thank You, Lord, that Jesus has become one of us.

Ruth 3:1-4:22 Thank You, Lord, that Jesus has become one of us. He's come down to this earth for us - and He's gone to the Cross for us. He came from heaven - and He's taking us to heaven. He has taken our sin - and He's given us His forgiveness. When we think of Jesus - all that He has done for us, all that He is doing for us, all that He will do for us, may our hearts be filled with praise to You, the God of our salvation.