Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2015

Help us, Lord, to keep on looking ahead to ‘the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’.

Proverbs 23:1-18
‘Continue in the fear of the Lord all day long. Let reverence for the Lord be the concern of your life’. When, Lord, we put You first in our lives, You give Your great promise of blessing, ‘There is surely a future hope for you. You have a bright future. Surely you have a wonderful future ahead of you’ (Proverbs 23:17-18). What a glorious future lies ahead of those who love You: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9)! Keep us, Lord, from becoming ‘short-sighted’. Help us to keep on looking ahead to ‘the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’. You, Lord, have given us ‘His very great and precious promises’. Help us to press on in ‘faith’, becoming more and more ‘active and effective in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (2 Peter 1:3-11).

Help us, Lord, as we read Your Word, to pray that the Holy Spirit will give us understanding.

Proverbs 23:19-35
‘Keep your heart on the right path’ (Proverbs 23:19). Lord, we read these words, and we wonder, ‘How are we to do this?’ Help us to seek ‘truth, wisdom, instruction and understanding’ (Proverbs 23:23). Help us to give our hearts to Christ. He is ‘the Truth’ (John 14:6). Help us to open our hearts to Christ. He is ‘our Wisdom’ (1 Corinthians 1:30). Opening our hearts will mean opening our Bibles. Giving our hearts to Christ will mean giving time to reading Your Word. As we read ‘the Scriptures’, we will receive ‘instruction’. We will learn about ‘salvation through faith in Christ Jesus’. We will receive ‘instruction for right living’ (2 Timothy 3:14-17). Help us, Lord, as we read Your Word, to pray that the Holy Spirit will give us ‘understanding’ (1 Corinthians 2:9-13). May we ‘be filled with the Spirit’ and may ‘the Word of Christ dwell in us richly’ (Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:16).

Don't say, ‘I’ll read God’s Word tomorrow.’ Read His Word today.

Proverbs 22:1-29
‘So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you’ (Proverbs 22:19). Lord, there are many people who say, ‘It’s not for me’. They know that others have been greatly blessed through reading God’s Word. Still, they do not take the trouble to read Your Word for themselves. They can’t be bothered. Receiving God’s blessing doesn’t really matter that much to them. Help us, Lord, not to miss out on Your blessing. Your Word is for every one of us. It’s not just for somebody else. To each one of us, You say, ‘It’s for you – ‘even you’. Some people say, ‘I’ll read God’s Word tomorrow’. When ‘tomorrow’ comes around, they’re still saying the same thing – ‘I’ll read God’s Word tomorrow’! Sadly, their ‘tomorrow’ never comes. They never get round to reading God’s Word. They’re missing out on so much. Help us not to say, ‘I’ll leave it till tomorrow’. Help us to read Your Word ‘today’.

You, Lord, ‘give victory’ to us. Help us to receive Your victory by ‘faith.’

Proverbs 21:1-31 ‘The victory belongs to the Lord’ (Proverbs 21:31). Lord, when defeat seems inevitable, You come to us with Your Word of encouragement: ‘The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save, a Warrior who gives victory. He will take great delight in you. He will renew you in His love. He will rejoice over you with singing’ (Zephaniah 3:17). Your Word shows us the way of victory. You lead us into the way of faith in our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: ‘This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:4). You, Lord, ‘give victory’ to us. Help us to receive Your victory by ‘faith’. Living for Christ is never easy – ‘In this world you will have trouble’. Help us not to let this get us down. Help us to remember Jesus’ words: ‘Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33).

Help us, Lord, to turn from ‘the works of the flesh’ and seek ‘the fruit of the Spirit.’

Proverbs 20:1-30
‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; whoever is led astray by it is not wise’ (Proverbs 20:1). Lord, teach us the truth of these words – before it’s too late! Teach us that there is a better way than the way of drunkenness. It is the way of being filled with the Holy Spirit: ‘Don’t get drunk on wine, which leads to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18). Help us not to ‘live according to the flesh.’ You’re calling us to ‘live according to the Spirit.’ You warn us against making the wrong choice: ‘To set the mind on the flesh is death.’ You show us the way of blessing: ‘To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.’ You say to us, ‘Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.’ Help us, Lord, to turn from ‘the works of the flesh’ and seek ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ (Romans 8:5-6; Colossians 3:2; Galatians 5:19-23).

The Friendship Of The Lord, The Fear Of The Lord

Proverbs 19:1-29
‘The fear of the Lord leads to life’ (Proverbs 19:23). ‘The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him’ (Psalm 25:14). Lord, we read these words, and we think, ‘What a strange combination – friendship and fear!’ We ask, ‘How can there be friendship where there is fear?’ Here, we have a special kind of friendship – ‘the friendship of the Lord’ – and a special kind of fear – ‘the fear of the Lord’. Why is this friendship and fear so special? It’s because You, Lord, are special! You are the God of perfect holiness – ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.’ Help us to come before You in ‘the fear of the Lord’ – ‘Woe is me! I am undone; I am a man of unclean lips…’. You are the God of perfect love. You He call us into friendship with Yourself – ‘Your guilt is taken away and your sin forgiven’ (Isaiah 6:3,5,7). We rejoice in ‘the friendship of the Lord’. Help us to respect You with ‘the fear of the Lord’.

Jesus Is Our Forever Friend.

Proverbs 17:13-28
“A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). Help us, Lord, to look beyond human love and human friendship. Help us to see Jesus. His love is the greatest love. He is our greatest Friend. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. Thank You for His love. He’s our Forever Friend. May we know, in our hearts, that His love is ‘always and forever’ love.

Help us, Lord, to throw away our bad fruit and enjoy Your good fruit.

Proverbs 14:1-19
“A perverse man will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man with the fruit of his deeds” (Psalm 14:14). Lord, You speak to us about two kinds of fruit – good fruit and bad fruit. How are we to have good fruit in our lives? Help us, Lord, to throw away our bad fruit – “strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness … ” – and enjoy Your good fruit. We need Your Word (Psalm 1:1-3). We need Your Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). – “love, joy, peace … ” (Galatians 5:19-24).

Help us, Lord, to see the light at the end of the tunnel – “the salvation of our souls.”

Proverbs 13:1-11
“The light of the righteous rejoices” (Proverbs 13:9). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Light. He’s “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). In Him, we rejoice (Romans 5:11 – “the blood Of Jesus, Your Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We thank You that, through Jesus, You have “called us out of darkness into Your marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). When, Lord, we’re going through hard times, help us to see the light at the end of the tunnel – “the salvation of our souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9).

Help us, Lord, to look for Jesus – and to find that He was already looking for us before we started looking for Him.

Proverbs 16:1-17
“Wisdom is better than gold” (Proverbs 16:16). Where, Lord, will we find wisdom? Your Word tells us that Jesus Christ is “our Wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30). When we find Him, we find wisdom. Jesus says to us, “Seek, and you will find” (Matthew 7:7). Set us free from the idea that we already know what wisdom is before we start looking for it. Help us to look for Jesus – and to find that He was already looking for us before we started looking for Him. We thank You, Lord, that, when Jesus finds us, we find the “wisdom” which “is better than gold.”

We thank You, Lord, that Jesus teaches us the way to live wisely.

Proverbs 15:1-33
“The path of life leads upward for the wise” (Proverbs 15:24). Where, Lord, does wisdom come from? It comes from Jesus. We look to Him, and we are led in the way that leads to the “Father’s House” (John 14:2-3,6). “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it” (Proverbs 15:17). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus teaches us the way to live wisely: “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). “The lips of the wise spread knowledge” (Proverbs 15:7). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Help us to “confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9).

Lord, we pray for a revival – a revival of looking to You, listening to you, learning from You and living for You.

Proverbs 14:20-35
“Righteousness lifts up a nation, but sin is a disgrace in any society” (Proverbs 14:34). Lord, we wonder about the future. Can times of blessing come again to our nation? Yes! They can – but there needs to be a big change in our way of thinking and our way of living. There needs to be less “This is what we think”, and more, “What is the Lord saying to us?” There needs to be less, “Look at what I’ve done”, and more “This is what the Lord has done for us.” Lord, we pray for a revival – a revival of looking to You, listening to you, learning from You and living for You.

We seek, Lord, for the way of wisdom – and we find that it is also the way of happiness.

Proverbs 8:1-36 We seek, Lord, for the way of wisdom – and we find that it is also the way of happiness (Proverbs 8:32-34). The world seeks happiness in wealth. Your Word teaches us that wisdom is better than “silver, gold and jewels” (Proverbs 8:10-11). How are we to find wisdom? We find wisdom when we find Jesus. He is our Wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). He is also our Joy. When this world is getting us down, He says to us, “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Lord, Your Word shows us the ways we are to avoid – and it shows us the way we are to follow.

Proverbs 6:16-35 Lord, Your Word is our “lamp” and “light” (Proverbs 6:23; Psalm 119:105). Your Word shows us the ways we are to avoid – and it shows us the way we are to follow: Your way, the way of obedience and blessing. Help us, Lord, to watch how we live, to take care that we do not drift away from You, to keep on choosing Your way, the way that brings glory to You.

What is our opinion of ourselves?

Proverbs 6:1-15 What is our opinion of ourselves? Is it the same, Lord, as Your opinion of us? You see as we really are – sinners. That’s not all that You see. You see something else, something that fills us with hope for the future. You don’t write us off as hopeless cases. You see us as sinners, saved by grace. It’s Your grace that makes the difference. It’s Your grace that changes us.

Lord, we are so easily entangled in the ways of the world.

Proverbs 5:1-14 Lord, we are so easily entangled in the ways of the world. We try to disentangle ourselves – but we can’t do this by ourselves. we need Your power. We need Your love. It’s Your love that changes everything. It’s Your power that makes us new. Show us Your love. Show us Your power. May Your love lift us out of our sin. May Your power lead us in the way of Your salvation.

Lord, help us to grow in Christ.

Proverbs 2:1-15 Lord, help us to grow in Christ. Help us to go often to Your Word. There, we will find strong warnings and precious promises. Help us to heed the warnings and trust the promises - to grow in Christ.

Praise the Lord.

Psalms 148:1-150:6 ‘Praise the Lord.’ We bring to You, Lord, our personal song of praise to God - ‘Praise be to the Lord my Rock... I will sing a new song to You, O God... I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your Name for ever and ever; Every day I will praise You... My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord... I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live’ (Psalms 144:1,9; 145:1-2,21; 146:2). Our personal worship is just a small part of something so much richer and fuller - ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord’ (Psalm 150:6). As we read these great Psalms of praise, may we be inspired to praise You more truly and more fully.

A Lifelong Commitment

Psalm 146:1-10 ‘I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live’ (Psalm 145:2). Praising You, the Lord our God: This is a lifelong commitment. We cannot maintain this lifelong commitment in our own strength. We need Your help. Help us never to forget this: ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain’ (Psalm 127:1). We thank You, Lord, that we are not expected to maintain this lifelong commitment in our own strength. We have Your help. May we always remember this: ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth’ (Psalm 124:8). ‘Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, the Lord who remains faithful for ever’ (Psalm 145:5-6).

The Teaching Of God's Word, The Strength Of His Spirit

Psalm 143:1-12 ‘Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord’ (Psalm 143:9). When we pray this kind of prayer, may we be concerned about more than our own welfare. May we be concerned about Your glory: ‘For Your Name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life’ (Psalm 143:11). How, Lord, do You lead us in victory? How are You glorified in our lives? You bring to us the teaching of His Word - ‘Let the morning bring me Word of Your unfailing love’ (Psalm 143:8). You give to us the strength of Your Spirit - ‘May Your good Spirit lead me in good paths’ (Psalm 143:10). Through Your Word and Your Spirit, You show us Your ‘unfailing love’. You enable us to say, ‘You are my God’, ‘I have put my trust in You’ and ‘I am Your servant’. You ‘show us the way we should go’. You ‘teach us to do Yours will’. You give us victory over our ‘enemies’ (Psalm 143:8,10,12). Thank You, Lord.

Praise the Lord - He is good. He is great.

Psalm 135:1-21 ‘Praise the Lord’ (Psalm 1-3,19-21). ‘The Lord is good... The Lord is great’ (Psalm 135:3,5). In our worship, Lord, we focus on both Your greatness and Your goodness. You are great in power: ‘Great is our Lord and mighty in power’ (Psalm 147:5). You are also great in love: ‘How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!’ (1 John 3:1). When we praise You, Lord, may we sing of Your greatness and Your goodness. May we think of the greatness of Your power - ‘I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed’ - and the greatness of His love - ‘And when I think that God His Son not sparing, sent Him to die - I scarce can take it in, that on the Cross my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin’ (Mission Praise, 506).

Lord, when the service of worship comes to an end, may our service of living begin - and never end!

Psalm 132:1-18 ‘Let us go to the Lord’s House; let us worship before His throne’ (Psalm 132:7). Lord, You're calling us to worship You. We are to gather together as Your worshipping people. As we gather for worship, may we remember that You, Lord, are ‘King’. May we give You more than the praise of our lips. May we give You the praise of our lives. We do not only sing to You. We live for You. We come ‘before Your throne’ with this prayer, ‘Take my heart - it is Thine own; It shall be Thy royal throne’. You hear and answer our prayer. You give us Your strength. We rise to Your challenge: ‘Rise up, O Church of God! Have done with lesser things; Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings.’ Lord, when the service of worship comes to an end, may our service of living begin - and never end!

Lord ... From Everlasting to Everlasting, You are God.

Psalms 89:38-90:17 ‘Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations… From everlasting to everlasting, You are God’(Psalm 90:1-2). Lord, we read the words, ‘In the beginning, God…’, and we know, in our hearts, that You are ‘the eternal God’. You are ‘the high and exalted One’. You are the God ‘who inhabits eternity’. You are the God ‘who lives for ever’. You have no beginning. You have no end. You are ‘the beginning and the end’. Our life on earth has a beginning. It has an end. We trust in You, ‘the eternal God.’ We rejoice in Your precious promises – ‘The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms’; ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’; ‘The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’(Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15; Revelation 21:6; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 6:23).

Lord, Your Word makes such a difference!

Psalm 119:49-72 Lord, Your Word makes such a difference! When everything seems so hopeless, we turn to Your Word,  and we find that there is ‘hope’ (Psalm 119:49). When we are going through a time of  terrible ‘suffering’, we turn to Your Word, and we find ‘comfort’ (Psalm 119:50,52). When everything seems to be going so badly, help us, Lord, to keep on reading Your Word: ‘The wicked have laid a trap for me, but I do not forget Your law’ (Psalm 119:61). Through Your Word, You are teaching us to see Your purpose in our sufferings: ‘The punishment You gave me was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to Your laws’ (Psalm 119:71). You, Lord, are showing us what is really important: ‘The law that You gave means more to me than all the money in the world’ (Psalm 119:72). Teach us to see Your ‘love’ in every part of our life (Psalm 119:64).

What are we to do when our love for God grows weak?

Psalms 116:1-117:2 ‘I love the Lord... I will call on Him as long as I live’(Psam 116:1-2). Our love for God is to be a lifelong life. It is to be the love of our life. What are we to do when our love for God grows weak? We must remember His love for us - ‘Great is His love towards us. The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever’(117:2). When we find it difficult to keep on loving God, we must remember how much He loves us. When we feel like giving up on loving God, we must remember that He never gives up on loving us. He loves us when our love for Him is strong. He loves us when our love for Him is weak. In love, He reaches out to us. He brings us out of our weakness and into His strength. Let His strong love reach you in your weakness and give you His strength: ‘Loving Him who first loved me.’

Those who fear You, Lord, have no need to live in fear of man.

Psalms 111:1-112:10 'Praise the Lord... To Him belong eternal praise... Blessed is the man who fears the Lord... His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes...'(Psalm 111:1,10; Psalm 112:1,8). Those who 'fear' You, Lord, have no need to live in fear of man. Those who know that ‘eternal praise’ belongs to You, Lord, can face their enemies with confidence. Our confidence is not in ourselves. Our confidence is You. We know how good You have been to us - ‘He provided redemption for His people’. We thank You that we have heard and believed the Good News of Christ. We need not ‘fear’ any ‘bad news’ which the devil sends our way. We 'trust' in You, Lord, confident that the ‘light ‘will triumph over the ‘darkness’. We thank You that the Good News of Christ will triumph over the devil’s bad news (Psalm 111:9; Psalm 112:4,7).

Lord, our situation seems to be utterly hopeless. How can we possibly win the victory?

Psalm 108:1-13 ‘With God we shall gain the victory. He will trample down our enemies’(Psalm 108:13). In ourselves, Lord, there is only defeat. We are no match for ‘our enemies’- the world, the flesh and the devil. We are surrounded by the world - ‘The world is ever near. I see the sights that dazzle. The tempting sounds I hear’. We live with the constant problem of the flesh - ‘the storms of passion, the murmurs of self-will.’ Behind the world and the flesh, there is an even stronger enemy - the devil: ‘Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against... the spiritual forces of evil...’(Ephesians 6:12). Lord, our situation seems to be utterly hopeless. How can we possibly win the victory? The simple truth is: We cannot. There is, however, a deeper truth: You, Lord, are with us - and ‘with God we shall win the victory’!

A History Of Sin - And A History Of Salvation

Psalm106:1-48 Lord, we read about Israel’s sin - ‘They soon forgot what He had done and did not wait for His counsel... They despised the pleasant land; they did not believe His promise... They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord... They rebelled against the Spirit of God’(Psalm 106:13,24-25,33). This is not only ancient history. It’s the story of our life! We read this, and we must join in Israel’s confession of sin: ‘We have sinned, even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly’(Psalm 106:6). We thank You, Lord, that the history of Israel is not only a history of sin. It's also a history of salvation: ‘He saved them...’(Psalm 106:8,10). When, Lord, we read of Your salvation, may we echo the prayer of Your people - ‘Save us, O Lord our God...’ May we join with them in praising You - ‘Praise be to the Lord...’(Psalm 106:47-48).

Lord, You are the King - ‘the King all-glorious above’, ‘the King of love.’

Psalms 96:1-97:12 ‘The Lord reigns’(Psalm 96:10; Psalm 97:1). Lord, You are the King. You are not only ‘the King all-glorious above’. You are ‘the King of love’. You are ‘our Maker, Defender, Redeemer and Friend!’ You are not only ‘the King of heaven’. You are ‘the God of grace’. You are ‘the King of mercy.’ Your reign is not to be restricted to some faraway heaven. It is not to be a reign that is far removed from the practicalities of our everyday life. You want to reign in our hearts. You want to reign in every part of our life. May Your reign of love begin. May Your grace and mercy control all that we do.

God ‘Blesses’ Us Through ‘His Word.’ He ‘Blesses’ Us In ‘The Spirit.’

Psalm 147:1-20
‘The Lord builds up Jerusalem. He gathers the exiles of Israel. he heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds’(2-3). This is much more than the building of the city of Jerusalem with bricks and mortar. This is God building up His people in their ‘most holy faith’(Jude 20). This is God blessing His people as they gather together to worship Him. In Christ, we are ‘being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit’(Ephesians 2:22). The Lord draws us to Himself. He brings us into fellowship with His people. He calls us to worship Him: ‘Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving’. He ‘blesses’ us through ‘His Word’. He ‘blesses’ us in ‘the Spirit’: ‘He sends His Word... and the waters flow’(7,12-13,18; John 7:37-39).

Psalms 148:1-150:6
‘Praise the Lord’. Psalms 146 and 147 began and ended with these words. Now, we find the same beginning and ending in each of these three Psalms - ‘Praise the Lord’. Our personal song of praise to God - ‘Pra…

The Saviour Is More Important Than The Preacher.

1 Corinthians 2:6-3:23
We come to know God when ‘the Spirit’ leads us to 'Jesus Christ' (2:10-13; 3:11; John 16:14).
We must not attach too much importance to the preachers - ‘What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants ...’. When we make too much of the servant, we draw attention away from the Saviour.
There is a very important lesson here - ‘Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth’ (3:5-7).
We are not members of a ‘mutual appreciation society’ - ‘You pat my back, and I’ll pat yours’!
We must learn to point to Jesus, saying, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (John 3:30).
Let ‘Jesus take the highest honour’. Let His Name be ‘the Name high over all’. ‘’Tis all my business... to cry Behold the Lamb!’ (Mission Praise, 378,385) - Let’s say it and mean it!

Serving Our Lord Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 4:1-21
As ‘servants of Christ’, we must concern ourselves with one thing - being ‘found faithful’.
This is not a matter of pleasing people - ‘it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you...'
Pleasing God - this is the most important thing (1-4).
Serving Christ is not easy.
There are always those who are quick to pass judgment on the Lord’s servants. What does God say about this? - ‘Do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes’ (9-13,5).
Being ‘found faithful’ is not just a matter of ‘saying the right words’. We must be the right people. This is what Paul means when he says, ‘The kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power’ (20). ‘You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses’ (Acts 1:8; Romans 12:11).

Our Love For The Lord Must Be Stronger Than Any Other Love.

1 Corinthians 6:12-7:24
The Lord has placed the highest value on us: ‘you were bought with a price’ (6:20; 7:23).
Our love for Him must be stronger than any other love.
Some are under pressure, at home, from an unbelieving husband or wife. You wonder whether your Christian witness is doing any good (7:16). You feel you are getting nowhere. You feel like giving up. You feel yourself being dragged away from the Lord.
What does the Word of God say? - ‘Lead the life which the Lord has assigned’; ‘Remain with God’ (7:17,24).
A difficult situation at home is just one example of ‘the world’ trying to ‘squeeze us into its own mould’ (Romans 12:2).
The world will keep chipping away at our faith - until there’s nothing left. ‘Do not love the world or the things in the world... He who does the will of God abides for ever’ (1 John 2:17).

Out Of Our Old Life, Into Christ's New Life

1 Corinthians 10:1-33
‘Participation in the blood of Christ… participation in the body of Christ’ (16): There is nothing more important than this.
We are not to be spectators, standing on the side lines, watching what’s going on without ever getting involved. We are to be participants, getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ, growing in our love for Him, strengthening our faith in Him, bringing more glory to Him. We eat bread. We drink wine.
We remember Jesus Christ, ‘the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us’. We do not only remember this great event from the past. We participate in Christ here and now. He has brought us out of our old life - ‘I have been crucified with Christ’ - and into His new life - ‘It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me’ (Galatians 2:20).
Participate ‘in Christ’ - not only in ‘the Church’!

Trusting, Loving And Serving Christ, Our Victorious Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:46-16:24
In Christ, there is ‘victory’ - glorious, eternal, heavenly victory (54-57).
Every day, we face a battle. It is a battle for faith, love and service.
(a) We are called to trust the Lord: ‘Stand firm in your faith’ (13). We are to have faith. It is to be a growing faith, a faith which is growing stronger.
(b) We are called to love the Lord. This is to be the most important thing in our life: ‘love for the Lord’ (21). Christ’s question comes to us: ‘Do you love Me?’ (John 21:15-17). Is our love for Him growing stronger or getting weaker?
(c) We are called to serve the Lord: ‘Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord’ (58). Let’s get rid of the lazy, ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude. We shall be victorious through ‘the grace of the Lord Jesus’ (23).

Let's Live As Resurrection People!

1 Corinthians 15:1-45
Here, we learn of Christ’s resurrection: the fact - ‘Christ has been raised from the dead’ - and the meaning - ‘the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep’ (20).
* We look back to His resurrection. We ‘remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead’ (2 Timothy 2:8).
* We look forward to our own resurrection. We will be ‘raised’ - ‘imperishable… in glory… in power… a spiritual body’ (42-44).
Looking back to His resurrection and looking forward to our own resurrection, we are to live, here and now, in ‘the power of His resurrection’ (Philippians 3:10).
* We believe the fact of the resurrection.
* We live in the power of the resurrection.
* We rejoice in the hope of the resurrection.
With ‘resurrection’ faith in the ‘resurrection’ God, let us live the ‘resurrection’ life as a ‘resurrection’ people!

The Holy Spirit Is Our ‘Guarantee Of Heavenly And Eternal Glory.’

2 Corinthians 4:1-5:10
God has called us to salvation- ‘God has shone in our hearts…’(4:6). He has called us to service- ‘having this ministry by the mercy of God’(4:1). We receive salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’(Acts 16:31). We are not to keep our faith to ourselves. We ‘believe’. We are to ‘speak’. This is God’s way of reaching ‘more and more people’ with His ‘grace’(13-15). Our experience of salvation and our empowering for service are both grounded in one great gift from God: ‘God… has given us the Spirit’(5:5). We fail our Lord often. Our faith is weak. Our witness seems so ineffective. When you feel such a failure, remember the Spirit. He will not fail you. He is our ‘guarantee of heavenly and eternal glory’(4:16-5:5).

2 Corinthians 5:11-7:1
‘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 …

Times Of Trouble Can Turn Out To Be Times Of Great...

2 Corinthians 1:1-2:11
Times of trouble can turn out to be times of great blessing - ‘God… comforts us in all our affliction’(1:3-4). Whether good things or bad things are happening to you, don’t forget this: God loves you. His Word is ‘not Yes and No’- ‘Yes, I love you. No, I don’t love you’. In Christ, His Word is ‘always Yes’(1:19). How do we know that God loves us? - ‘God showed His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’(Romans 5:8). Whatever may happen to us, nothing can change this great fact: Christ died for us. This is the great fact of God’s love. Life is not easy. There is ‘Satan’, always seeking ‘to gain the advantage over us’(2:11). We do not stand alone in our battle against Satan. God ‘has given us His Spirit in our hearts’. He is the ‘guarantee’ of our final victory (1:22).

2 Corinthians 2:12-3:18
How do we react when things don’t seem to be going very well? We all need the encouragement of God’s Word: ‘Thanks be to God, who in Chr…

"My Grace Is Sufficient For You.’

2 Corinthians 10:1-11:15
We are engaged in warfare. Is it ‘worldly war’? Do we use ‘worldly weapons’? No! It is spiritual warfare. God has given us His weapons (10:3-4). Our enemy is ‘Satan’- ‘the god of this world’(11:13-15; 4:4). We face him with ‘the whole armour of God’, with ‘the Gospel of peace’(Ephesians 6:11,13,15). We are not fighting for ourselves. We are not fighting in our own strength. The battle is the Lord’s. He is our Strength. Without Him, we fail. With Him, there is victory. Everything is centred upon the Lord. We are to have, ‘a sincere and pure devotion to Christ’(11:13). We are to ‘boast of the Lord’(10:17). We are to seek the Lord’s commendation (10:18). Be devoted to the Lord. Give glory to Him. Seek His approval. These are the things that really matter, the things we must never forget.

2 Corinthians 11:16-12:10
‘My grace is sufficient for you’(9). These are tremendous words! Believe them. Apply them to yourself. Let the strength of the Lord come to y…

Before We Ever Think Of Giving Ourselves To God, We Must Look At All He Has Given To Us.

2 Corinthians 7:2-8:7
We may face difficult circumstances. We may experience much suffering. In all of this there is one thing we must never forget: ‘God… comforts the downcast’(7:6). He lifts us up when we are down. He enables us to ‘excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, in love, in giving’(8:7). How are we to excel in everything? We must ‘give ourselves to the Lord’(8:5). Everything else flows from this. We are to ‘give ourselves in devoted service to others’(12; 8:4-5). Where does this spirit of ‘rich generosity’ come from? It comes from God, from ‘the grace that God has given’ to us (8:1-2). It comes to us as we give ourselves to Him. Before we can ‘excel in this grace of giving’, we must receive ‘from His fullness, grace upon grace’(8:7; John 1:16).

2 Corinthians 8:8-9:15
How are we to be ‘cheerful’ in giving ourselves to the Lord (9:7)? How are we to be confident that ‘God is able to provide us with every blessing in abunda…

'My Power Is Made Perfect In Weakness.’

2 Samuel 1:1-27
‘How are the mighty fallen!’(19,25,27). The tragedy of Saul was there for all to see. He had made a right mess of things! What are we to think when we read of this tragic figure? He started out so well. He ended so badly. There were high hopes - but it all came to nothing. Do we not see ourselves in Saul? - This could happen to me, if I’m not careful. The danger signs are there. Satan is at hand. He is ready to sweep in. He will sweep the feet away from us, if we don’t watch out. We are very weak, but the Lord is ‘able to keep us from falling’(Jude 24-25). These are things we must never forget - our own weakness and the strength of the Lord. Disaster threatens. Tragedy looms. Jesus draws near. He speaks His Word - ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness’(2 Corinthians 12:9). By grace, we shall stand!

2 Samuel 2:1-32
It was a new beginning. There was a new king. Saul was gone. He had been replaced by David. One thing had not …

How Are We To Live? - We Live By The Grace Of God....

Titus 1:1-2:10 How are we to live? We are not to be ‘empty talkers’, people who ‘profess to know God’ and ‘deny Him by their deeds’(1:10,16). We must give no one the opportunity to ‘speak evil of God’s Word’. We must be ‘a model of good deeds’, showing ‘the beauty of the teachings about God our Saviour in everything we do’(2:5,7,10). When we live in a Christlike way, ‘those who oppose’ Christ and His Gospel will be ‘put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us’(2:8). This is how we are to live. How do we live? This is a question for all of us. It is a question which will make us feel uncomfortable. We don’t find it easy to look closely at the way we live our lives. We won’t get away with glossing over things. God calls us to pray, ‘Search me, O God... Cleanse me from every sin...’(Psalm 139:23-24; Mission Praise, 587). 
Titus 2:11-3:15 We read in 2:11,13 of Christ’s coming in grace- ‘the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people’- and His coming in glory- …

God Is Calling Us To Be Faithful To Him.

Nahum 1:1-2:9
‘Fulfil your vows’ (1:15). God is calling us to be faithful to Him. We are to be faithful in worship. We are to be faithful in reading His Word. We are to be faithful in prayer. We are to be faithful in giving. We are to be faithful in witness. Our faith is to be real. Our faith is to make a difference. It’s to change the way we live. It’s not to be a case of ‘faith without works’. That kind of ‘faith’ is ‘dead’ (James 2:17). Our whole life is to be a life of faith. It is to be a life of ‘love’. We are to live ‘for the glory of God’ (Romans 14:23; 1 Corinthians 16:14; 10:31). ‘Fill Thou our life, O Lord our God, in every part with praise... Not for the lip of praise alone, nor even the praising heart we ask, but for a life made up of praise in every part’ (Church Hymnary, 457).
Nahum 2:10-3:19
To those who refuse to live in obedience to Him, God speaks His Word of judgment: ‘I am against you’ (2:13; 3:5). Those who refuse to listen to God’s Word of salvation - ‘…

Be Filled With The Spirit, Addressing One Another In Psalms, Hymns And Spiritual Songs, Singing And Making Melody To The Lord With All Your Heart…’

2 Samuel 4:1-5:25
‘…They came into the house… and slew him…’(4:7). What are we to make of this kind of thing? - ‘What’s the world coming to?’. Where’s it all going to end?’. It is difficult to maintain real faith in the Lord when this kind of thing is going on. What are we to do? Don’t bury your head in the sand. Don’t pretend that such things are not happening. Don’t imagine that that they will just go away. ‘Inquire of the Lord’. ‘Do as the Lord commands’. Keep on believing that there will be a breakthrough - from the Lord(19,23,25,20). Can you ‘hear the sound of rustling in the leaves of the trees’? - ‘The Spirit of the Lord has come down on the earth’. Let us ‘rise, a mighty array, at the bidding of the Lord - The Spirit won’t be hindered by division in the perfect work that Jesus has begun’(24; John 3:8; Mission Praise, 274).

2 Samuel 6:1-23
‘When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart’(16). Michal was a very angry young w…

When You’re Feeling Down, Let God's Love Lift You Up!

2 Samuel 10:1-11:27
‘May the Lord do what seems good to Him’(10:12). This is the attitude we ought to have. This is the ideal: ‘Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven’; ‘Not as I will, but as You will’(Matthew 6:10; 26:39). Often, we do not live up to the ideal - ‘the thing that David had done displeased the Lord’(11:27). Throughout life, there are choices between our own will and the will of the Lord. Sometimes, we make wrong choices. We choose our own way rather than the Lord’s way. Throughout life, God is speaking to us. He is trying to get our attention. He wants it to be less of self and more of Him. He is leading us to say from the heart, ‘As for God, His way is perfect’(22:31; Psalm 18:30). May we have this testimony: ‘I have kept the ways of the Lord; I have not done evil by turning from my God’(Psalm 18:21).

2 Samuel 12:1-31
Here, we learn much about God’s dealings with sinners. In verse 7, there is conviction of sin - ‘You are the man’. In verse 13, we have…

In Christ - God's Love And Forgiveness

2 Samuel 14:1-33
David loved Absalom - ‘the king’s heart went out to Absalom’(1). David could not bring himself to forgive Absalom: ‘Let him dwell apart in his own house; he is not to come into my presence’(24). God loves us. God forgives us. We dare not come to Him in pride - ‘I’m really not that bad. I’m really quite good’. We must come to Him with a real confession of sin: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son’. In ourselves, we are ‘lost’. In Christ, we are ‘found’. In ourselves, we are ‘dead’. In Christ, we are ‘made alive’(Luke 15:21,24; Ephesians 2:1,5). In Christ, we see God’s love. Through Christ, we receive God’s forgiveness. Christ does not leave us ‘out on a limb’. He is preparing a place for us - in His Father’s House (John 14:1-3). This is love - without limits!

What Is More Important To You - Your Own Reputation Or The Glory Of God?

2 Samuel 16:1-23
What is more important to you - your own reputation or the glory of God? ‘Curse David’- This was the last thing David wanted to hear. It may, however, have been what he needed to hear. Here, we see David’s true spiritual stature. This was not a ‘feel good’ message. David recognized that this might be what the Lord was saying to him (10). He speaks against us so that we might learn to stop speaking against Him. He speaks of His righteousness that we might see our own unrighteousness. He speaks of His judgment that we might see how hopeless our situation is without Christ. He speaks of our sin that we might be brought to Christ for salvation (John 16:8-11; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-2:2). Let there be no more talk of your righteousness. Confess your sins and trust the Saviour.

“The Peace Of God, Which Passes All Understanding, Will Keep Your Hearts And Minds In Christ Jesus.”

2 Samuel 17:1-29
Here, we have a tragic train of events. Ahithophel’s advice was ‘not good’. His advice ‘was not followed’. He ‘hanged’ himself (7,23). Without going into detail about this particular suicide, we may make some general comments about coping with life’s difficulties. Things don’t go according to plan. Our hopes are dashed. Nothing seems to work out. Everything seems to go wrong. We allow things to get on top of us. Very quickly and very easily, things can get completely out of control. Everything is out of proportion. It seems like there is nothing worth living for. Suicide becomes a strangely attractive way out. What are we to do when such thoughts fill our minds? - Remember God’s promise: “The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”(Philippians 4:7).

Keep On Praying. Keep On Believing.

2 Samuel 21:1-22:7
There’s no two ways about it. God’s people were getting it rough. There seemed to be so many problems. Were they to give up hope? - Not a bit of it! Read verse 14 - ‘After that God heeded supplications for the land’. What happened when God heard and answered the prayers of His people? - ‘the plague was averted from Israel’(24:25). Things would have been an awful lot worse, if it was not for the Lord hearing and answering prayer! Keep on praying. Keep on believing that God hears and answers prayer. He is not a tragic victim of circumstances - ‘Poor God. He can do nothing about it all’. Don’t believe that. That’s the lie of the devil. He is still the living God. Things are not out of His control. He is still on the throne. God can, if we will - ‘If my people…’(2 Corinthians 7:14). Pray ‘for the land’!

‘By Grace You Have Been Saved…’

2 Samuel 23:1-39
By birth, David was ‘the son of Jesse’. By grace, he was ‘the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel’(1). What we are in ourselves is nothing compared with what we can become through the grace of God! Look at David. Listen to what he says, ‘The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me, His Word is upon my tongue’(2). What had David done to deserve this? What was so special about him? Nothing - This was the work of God, the work of divine grace. In ourselves, we are ‘godless’, good for nothing, ‘like thorns that are thrown away’(6). In ourselves, we are not ‘mighty men’(8-9). How can we be changed? - ‘The Lord wrought a great victory’(10,12). Which of us can be described as ‘a valiant man… a doer of great deeds’(20) - apart from the grace of God? ‘By grace you have been saved…’(Ephesians 2:8-10).

From Pride To Praise

2 Samuel 24:1-25
Here, we see the spirit of pride. David wanted to ‘know the number of the people’ (2). Why? He wanted to feel important - ‘the big man’. He was not giving the glory to the Lord. He was taking it for himself. Did God give up on David - ‘a hopeless case, too full of himself and his own importance’? Of course not! The Lord, whose ‘mercy is great’, drew David back to Himself. David confessed his sin - ‘I have sinned greatly… I have done very foolishly… I have sinned and I have done wickedly’(10,17). David was accepted by the Lord - ‘The Lord your God accepts you’. He was brought from pride to praise (23,25). This is what God has done for us. We are ‘accepted in the Beloved’- ‘to the praise of His glorious grace’ (Ephesians 1:6).

Jesus Asks Us, ‘Do You Love Me?’ He Waits For Our Reply: ‘I Love You.’

Daniel 3:1-30
‘We want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up’(18). We have no other king but the Lord. He alone is King. He alone is to be worshipped. We are to ‘have no other gods before Him’. We are ‘not to make for ourselves an idol’ which takes the place of the Lord (Exodus 20:3-4). The Lord must come first in our lives. He is to be our ‘first love’- ‘the love of our heart: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart...’(Revelation 2:4; Mark 12:30). Jesus asks us, ‘Do you love me?’. He waits for our reply: ‘I love You’(John 21:15-17). ‘I love the Name of Jesus. King of my heart, He is everything to me’. ‘I love You, O Lord, You alone... my God who shall have all my praise’. (Mission Praise, 285,286).

Daniel 4:1-37
‘His Kingdom is an eternal Kingdom; His dominion endures from generation to generation’(3). The generations rise and fall - ‘You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of t…

I’d Rather Have Jesus Than Silver Or Gold.

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

Daniel 6:1-28
‘He is the living God and He endures for ever; His Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end’(26). He is the living God. He is also the loving God - ‘His love endures…

Salvation Always Begins With God's Great Love For Us.

Daniel 9:1-27
'O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!’(19). How do we know God will hear and answer our prayer as we look to Him for salvation? - ‘The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him’(9). We come to God with our sin- We are ‘dead in our sins and wickedness’. He comes to us with His grace- ‘By grace you have been saved through faith’. We come to God, deeply conscious of our sin. We know in our hearts that we can do nothing to save ourselves. The way of salvation can never begin with the word, ‘I’. It always begins with God. It begins with His love - ‘His great love for us’: ‘God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our sins’(Ephesians 2:1,4-5,8).

Daniel 10:1-11:13
Daniel came to God in great weakness- ‘I am helpless... My strength is gone...’(16-17). From the Lord, Daniel received great strength- ‘The One who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength... When He …

When Your Head Goes Down, The Lord Will Lift You Up.

Ezra 4:1-5:17
God’s work does not always move forward smoothly. We face determined opposition. Where there is opportunity, there will be opposition (1 Corinthians 16:9). The servants of Satan rise up to oppose the servants of the Lord. This is what happens here. The Lord’s enemies had some success: ‘the work on the House of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill’. This was, however, only a temporary setback. God gave new strength to His servants. He sent His ‘prophets, Haggai and Zechariah’. They brought His Word to the people. Strengthened by their ministry of God’s Word, ‘Zerubbabel... arose and began to rebuild the House of God in Jerusalem’ (4:24-5:2). God’s work was back on track. His people were moving forward - again. When your head goes down, let the Lord come to you. He will lift you up!

Ezra 6:1-7:28
God’s work makes good progress when God’s people receive strength from God’s Word. Haggai and Zechariah were faithful in preaching God’s Word to the people. Their pre…

Waiting Patiently For God's Answer

Habakkuk 1:1-2:14
‘How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but You do not listen?’(1:2). There are times when it seems that God is not listening to us. What are we to do when we feel like this? Are we to give up on God? Are we to stop praying? No! We must wait patiently for the Lord’s answer - ‘I will look to see what He will say to me’. We must not forget His promise: ‘The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord’(2:1; Lamentations 3:25-26). ‘The vision awaits its time... If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay’. Let us ‘live by faith’, awaiting the Day when ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea’(2:3-4,14).

Wait On The Lord And Renew Your Strength.

Habakkuk 2:15-3:19
We are to ‘be silent before God. We are to ‘stand in awe’ of Him. In His holy presence, we become deeply conscious of our sin which separates us from Him: ‘Your eyes are too pure to look on evil’. Confessing our sin to God, we pray that ‘in wrath’ He will ‘remember mercy’. We pray that He will ‘renew’ us with His blessing. God answers our prayer. He sends His ‘glory’ into our lives. He fills our hearts with His ‘praise’: ‘I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The Lord God is my Strength. He makes my feet like the feet of the deer. He enables me to go on the heights’. ‘Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles...’(2:20; 3:2; 1:13; 3:18-19; Isaiah 40:31).

We Have Forgotten God. He Never Forgets Us.

Hosea 5:15-7:16
We are to leave the old way of sinful disobedience and follow the new way of faith and obedience: ‘Come, let us return to the Lord... Let us press on to know the Lord’. As we return to the Lord, pressing on to know Him, His blessing returns to us. He leads us in the way of fruitfulness: ‘He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth’(6:1,3). We must not be like those who react to God’s Word with ‘pride’: ‘They do not return to the Lord their God’. God longs to ‘redeem’ them, yet they ‘rebel against’ Him: ‘They do not turn to the Most High God’(7:10,13,16). Our ‘love’ for God is not to be ‘like the early dew that disappears’. Let us ‘acknowledge our guilt and seek His face’. Let us love Him with a ‘steadfast love’(5:15; 6:4,6).

Hosea 8:1-9:17
‘Israel’ had ‘forgotten’ and ‘forsaken’ the Lord (8:14). We have not remembered the Lord. We have turned away from Him. We have forgotten Him. We have been ‘unfaithful’ to Him. This is the s…

What Kind Of People Are We Becoming?

Hosea 1:1-3:5
‘Hosea’ means ‘salvation’. Married to ‘an adulterous wife’, Hosea spoke with great compassion to ‘the land’ which was ‘guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord’(1:2). He brought God’s Word of love to the people: ‘I will show My love to the one I called, “Not My loved one”’. He spoke to them of the life-changing power of God’s love: ‘I will say to those called, “Not My people”, and they will say, “You are My God”’(2:23). He brought a Word of hope to God’s people: ‘The Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God... They will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days’(3:5). His words of hope point us to our Saviour, Jesus Christ - ‘In these last days, God has spoken to us by His Son’(Hebrews 1:2).

Hosea 4:1-5:14
We read here of Israel’s rebellion against God: ‘A spirit of prostitution leads them astray. They are unfaithful to their God... A spirit of prostitution is in their heart. They do not acknowledge the Lord’(4:…

Kept By The Power Of God

Philippians 1:1-2:11
Do you feel like you can`t go on? Do you feel like giving up? Here`s God`s Word of encouragement for you: ‘He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus Christ’(1:6). God finishes what He starts - ‘He didn`t bring us this far to leave us. He didn`t teach us to swim to let us drown. He didn`t build His home in us to move away. He didn`t lift us up to let us down’. In all the changes of life, we must remember this: God is faithful. His love is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable. We don`t keep going because we are strong. We are ‘kept by the power of God’(1 Peter 1:5). In ‘humility’ let us live ‘to the glory and praise of God’(2:3; 1:11). ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’(2:11) - He will give you the strength to keep going when you feel like giving up.

God's Love For Us Is Much Greater Than Our Love For Him.

Hosea 10:1-12:9
God’s love for us is much greater than our love for Him. So often, we are like ‘Israel’- ‘they did not fear the Lord’. Our love for God grows weak. His love for us remains strong. He refuses to give up on us. We wander away from the Lord. He calls us back to Himself - ‘It is time to seek the Lord’; ‘You must return to your God’(10:3,12; 11:1,8; 12:6). When we return to the Lord, He leads us in the way of His ‘love’. He teaches us to ‘walk in the Spirit’. He produces in us ‘the fruit of the Spirit’(10:1; 11:3-4; Galatians 5:16-18,22-25). God will help us to grow strong in our love for Him - ‘the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We must ‘not quench the Spirit’. We must ‘not grieve the Holy Spirit of God’(Romans 8:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Ephesians 4:30).

Hosea 12:10-14:9
The Lord loves us. He invites us to come to ‘know’ Him as our ‘Saviour’. We are to ‘return’ to Him and receive the blessings of His salvation. He ‘forgives all our sins’. He leads us in the w…

Created In The Image Of God

Genesis 2
Here, we see the privilege and responsibility of being human. As well as the privilege - created in the image of God (1:26-27) - there is also the responsibility in relation to (a) the creation - 'farm the land and ... take care of it' (v. 15); (b) the Creator - 'you must never eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil' (v. 17).
Human life is lived within two horizons - (i) the temporal or earthly horizon: we have relationships with one another - 'It is not good for the man to be alone' (v. 18); (ii) the eternal or heavenly horizon: we are related to God. Human relationships do not satisfy us fully. There is a longing for God our Creator - 'He has put a sense of eternity in people's minds' (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
He has given good things to be enjoyed (1 Timothy 4:4). He has also created us to be 'inwardly renewed' by feeding on the 'things that last forever' (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

The Lord Our God, The Maker Of Heaven And Earth

Genesis 1:1-3
There is here a real sense of the majesty of God. He is 'beyond description'. We cannot comprehend Him. We can hardly put into words this sense of God's greatness. We are transported into an eternal dimension, which is so different from our earthly existence. We read, 'In the beginning, God ... ' (v. 1). Many live as if humanity was the only reality. Here, it is we who are absent from view. Here, we see God only. Humanity only comes into view when God chooses (vs. 26-27). Everything about this is God-centred rather than man-centred. The light comes when God says, 'Let there be light' (v. 3). Prior to God's Word of command in verse 3, we see the Spirit of God 'hovering' (v. 2). The Spirit is on the alert, ready to move into action, ready for the Word of God to be spoken, ready to empower the Word so that it becomes mightily effective. All that follows - described as 'very good' - comes from God, from His Word and His Sp…

Come To Christ And Find Salvation In Him Alone.

Genesis 7
What was going on outside of the ark is contrasted with the haven of salvation inside the ark. We read that, once all were in the ark, "the Lord closed the door behind them" (v. 16). What was it that made the ark a place of salvation? - The Lord. What is it that makes Jesus Christ the Source of our salvation? - "God has given Him the Name that is above every name, the Name of our salvation" (Philippians 2:9-11; Acts 4:12). This is the spiritual significance of what we read in Genesis concerning the flood: "Salvation is of the Lord"(Jonah 2;9). Christ is the Door. Those who enter through Him will be saved (John 10:9). We must listen to what God says concerning salvation. If we listen to what the world says, we will conclude that all will be saved. If we listen to the Lord, we will come to Christ and find salvation in Him alone. From the ark, we learn of (a) the one way of salvation - The ark had only one door. Jesus is 'the Door&…

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 Doo…

"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 heavens, …

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!

Human Love And Divine Love

"Husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her" (Ephesians 5:25).
Human love is grounded in divine love. "I love you" is grounded in "God loves you." We look to Jesus Christ. We see the love of God. His love for us inspires our love for one another.

Where have we come from? Where are we going to?

We wonder, "Where have we come from? Where are we going to?" Jesus says, "I know where I came from, and where I'm going" (John 8:14). Show us, Lord Jesus, Your eternal love - the love that calls out to us from the beginning, the love that calls us on to the end, the love that calls out to us from Your eternal glory, the love that calls us on to Your eternal glory.

Lord, our whole life is to be a celebration of Your love.

Psalm 86:1-17 ‘You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you… Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth… I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart… For great is Your love towards me’(Psalm 86:5,11-13). Lord, You love us. You forgive our sins. We receive Your love. We want to love You more. Your love inspires our praise – ‘I will praise You…’. Your love inspires our prayer – ‘Teach me Your way…’. Our whole life is to be a celebration of Your love – ‘Great is Your love towards me’. We are to celebrate His love with ‘joy’(Psalm 86:4). We rejoice in You because of who You are- ‘You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness’- and what You have done for us – ‘You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me’(Psalm 86:15,17).

Help us, Lord, to pray for revival.

Psalm 85:1-13 Help us, Lord, to pray for revival – ‘Restore us again, O God our Saviour… Will You not revive us again that Your people may rejoice in You?’(Psalm 85:4,6). Help us to pray that You will ‘grant us Your salvation.’ Help us to pray that ‘Your saving presence will remain in our land’, that ‘Your glory may dwell in our land’(Psalm 85:7,9). Help us to pray for real listening – ‘I will listen to what God the Lord will say’- , a real turning to You – ‘turning to You in our hearts’- , and a real sense of Your blessing – ‘You will speak peace to Your people’(Psalm 85:8). Teach us, Lord, that prayer for revival does not begin as a prayer for others. It begins with ourselves: ‘O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee; send a revival – start the work in me’. It begins with this prayer: “Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine; fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.’

Help us, Lord, to thank You for Your past blessings, and to trust You for Your future blessings.

Psalm 81:1-16 “Sing aloud to God; shout for joy to the God of Jacob” (Psalm 81:1). Teach us, Lord, to worship You with joy. You have blessed us in the past: “I am the Lord your God, who brings you out of the land of Egypt.” You will bless us in the future: “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10). Help us, Lord, to thank You for Your past blessings, and to trust You for Your future blessings.

Sometimes, Lord, we have more questions than answers.

Psalm 77:1-20
Sometimes, Lord, we have more questions than answers (Psalm 77:7-9). The questions keep flooding into our minds. We wonder where the answers are going to come from. What, Lord, are we to do when this happens? We remember what You have done for us (Psalm 77:11-12). Help us, Lord, to look back over the “years” – and remember that Your “hand” has been upon us (Psalm 77:5,10). May the memories of Your many blessings fill us with strength – to face the future with confidence in You. Help us, Lord. to trust in You – and be truly happy.