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Showing posts from March, 2016

One Year Bible: Days 91-120

Day 91 Numbers 31:25-32:42; Luke 8:40-9:9; Psalm 40:1-8 In Moses’ time, the people of God were to “arm themselves before the Lord for battle” (Numbers 32:20). In Jesus’ time, His disciples were given “power and authority to drive out all demons ...” (Luke 9:1). In every generation, the Lord’s people are to sing “a new song ... a hymn of praise to our God” so that “many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:3). Day 92Numbers 33:1-34:29; Luke 9:10-27; Proverbs 8:22-31 The sheer dimensions of what God was doing with His people, Israel, are most impressive. This was no small thing. This was a mighty work of God. The feeding of the 5,000 was a mighty miracle. It was impressive because of the sheer numbers involved in it. When we think of such mighty miracles, we know that their origin lies in God the Creator. He created the world out of nothing, His mighty work of creation is described in Proverbs 8:27-29. Day 93Numbers 35:1-36:13; Luke 9:28-56; Psalm 40:9-17 To come to …

Quiet trust and loud praise

‘Be still, and know that I am God… Shout to God with loud songs of joy’(Psalm 46:10; Psalm 47:2).
In our worship, there is to be both quiet trust and loud praise.

Lord, we need Your Word of encouragement.

Numbers 12:1-13:33 Lord, we need Your Word of encouragement. Sometimes, our problems seem to be so big. Help us to see that Your power is always greater than our problems. When everything in us seems to be saying, "I can't", help us to hear - and speak - the Word of faith, " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

God's Unfailing Love

"Within Your temple, O God, we meditate on Your unfailing love" (Psalm 48:9). What do we do when human love fails? We look beyond human love. We look to divine love.  God's love never fails. It's an "unfailing love." We should think, often, of the love of God. We should think of Jesus - "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" (John 3:16). We should think of the supreme demonstration of God's love - "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Think of Jesus. Thank God for Jesus.

Sometimes, Lord, we wonder, "Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?"

Numbers 14:1-45  Sometimes, Lord, we wonder, "Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?" Help us to hear Your answer - Yes. There is: "I will be with you. I will never leave you" (Joshua 1:5). Strengthened by Your wonderful promises, help us to rise up and face the future with the confidence that comes from knowing that You are leading us on into Your glorious future: "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

The Vine

“You transplanted a vine from Egypt. You drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land” (Psalm 80:8-9).
When we read here about a “vine”, we should remember that Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). We read here that the vine “filled the land.” Let us pray for our land – “Shine, Jesus, shine. Fill this land with the Father’s glory.”

God’s faithful love

“God sends His love and faithfulness” (Psalm 57:3).
Whatever may be happening in our lives, let’s remember God’s faithful love. Let's will look beyond everything that's happening to us. Let's catch a glimpse of God’s presence and purpose. : God is there, and He is fulfilling His purpose of “love and faithfulness.” In Jesus Christ, the love and faithfulness of God are seen more clearly than anywhere else. Rejoicing in God’s faithful love, let us say, from our hearts, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth” (Psalm 57:5).

Lord, Give Us Your Joy.

"Zion hears about this and rejoices" (Psalm 97:8).
God's Word brings joy. True joy is not something that we can give to ourselves. It must be given to us by the Lord. This joy - the joy of the Lord - gets stronger and stronger as we listen to the Word  of the Lord and receive its message with faith and obedience.

We look at ourselves, Lord - and our heads go down.

Numbers 17:1-18:32 We look at ourselves, Lord - and our heads go down. Again and again, Lord, we let You down - but You, Lord, never let us down. You lift us up. When we fail You, help us to remember Your faithful love - and to be lifted up into a life that is more faithful to You and more fruitful for You.

Lord, we are, so often, dragged down to the world's way of living.

Numbers 16:1-50 Lord, we are, so often, dragged down to the world's way of living. Again and again, we fail to respond to "the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14). We fail to rise to the challenge of walking with You on "the high way of holiness" (Isaiah 35:8). When we rejoice in Your gift of forgiveness, help us, also, to choose the way of holiness. Far too often, Lord, we keep our distance from You. You're calling us into a closer walk with You - but we draw back from You. You're seeking to change us - but we're quite content to stay the way we are. Forgive us, Lord, and deliver us from our self-centredness. Make us the kind of people that You want us to become.

We thank You, Lord, for Jesus - Your perfect Son, our perfect Saviour.

Numbers 19:1-22 We thank You, Lord, for Jesus - Your perfect Son, our perfect Saviour. In ourselves, there is sin. In Jesus, there is salvation: forgiveness for our guilty past, power for the challenges of our present - and glory, with You, forevermore.e hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him ... "(Revelation 3:20). He calls us to receive us the new life which begins, for each one of us, when we say, "Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Come in today. Come in to stay. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus."

The sinner becomes the singer ...

Psalm 40:1-3
The sinner becomes the singer, the servant and the soul winner.  * “a desolate pit”, “the muddy clay” - This is our sin. We bring our sin to the Saviour.  * “a new song” - This is our song of salvation. This is the song that our Saviour has given to us.  * “Many will see...” We do not sing for ourselves. We do not live for ourselves. We live for the Lord. We are to win people for Him. Before a song can be a song of praise, it must be a song of salvation. We praise God because He has saved us.

We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus is "the same yesterday and today and forever"

Numbers 20:1-29 We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus is "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). When everything around us seems to be changing, help us to remember that Jesus, our Saviour, is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable in the great love that He has for us and the amazing grace that He shows to us.

Feasting on God's Word

In ‘the Shepherd Psalm’ (Psalm 23), we read, in verse 5,: ‘You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows’. We are to feast on God’s Word. We are to be filled with God’s Spirit. The ‘table’ is the place of feasting. ‘Oil’ is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. As we feast on God’s Word, we will have good cause to say, again and again, ‘God is good’: ‘His goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life’ (6). The Lord never fails us. He always comes with His life-giving Word, the Word of life, through which our life on earth becomes the beginning of life eternal, the pathway to a life in which the fullness of God’s love will be revealed in a way that we can hardly begin to imagine: ‘I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever’(6). This is what Christ is preparing for us (John 14:2)!

Cain, Abel - And Christ

Genesis 4:1-16 We read about Cain and Abel. We look beyond them to Christ. He offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin. He is "the Passover Lamb." He "has been sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7). Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). We read here about the parting of the ways. Cain went one way - away from God. Abel went the other way - towards God. When we come to the Cross of Jesus Christ, we must make our choice. Our  life can never be the same again. Will we be like Cain? - "He went out from the Lord's presence and lived in the land of wandering" (Genesis 4:16). What does God say to those who are wandering away from Him? He says, "Awake, sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you" (Ephesians 5:14). We read about Abel, and we look beyond him to Christ. Let us walk with Christ on the way of faith and obedience, the way of His salvation, the way of…

The Lord is my Shepherd ...

Psalm 23:1-6

“The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1). He speaks to us. He calls us to Himself. He leads us on with Himself (John 10:3). He is all that we need for walking the walk as well as talking the talk. He works in us through the “oil” of the Holy Spirit and the “table” and “cup” of Christ (Psalm 23:5). The completion of God’s work in us is beyond this life. It’s more than “as long as I live.” It’s “forever” (Psalm 23:6).

Lord, Your Word gives us a much-needed warning: "Don't let the world squeeze you into its mould."

Numbers 25:1-26:22 Lord, Your Word gives us a much-needed warning: "Don't let the world squeeze you into its mould" (Romans 12:2). You're challenging us. You're asking us a very disturbing question - "Are you becoming more like the world or more like the Lord?" This is not only a disturbing question. It's a life-changing question. Answering this question honestly - This is the beginning of a better life, a life that brings more glory to You and more blessing to us, a life more fully in line with the "good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2).

Lord, help us to make good choices.

Genesis 13:1-18 Lord, help us to make good choices. When we’re at the crossroads of life, we can so easily head off in the wrong direction. At the crossroads of life, we need Jesus. He is the Way – the true and living Way (John 14:6). “Without the Way, there is no going. Without the truth, there is no knowing. Without the life, there is no living.” Help us to choose well. Help us to choose Jesus. Lord, give us this great testimony: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Lord, help us to keep on praying this prayer: “May there be less of self and more of Christ in me” (John 3:30).

Where does worship begin?

Isaiah 55:1-13

“Without money and without cost” (Isaiah 55:1) We read, in Matthew 26:7, about a woman who anointed Jesus with “very expensive fragrant oil.” What are we to say about all of this? - It’s not about repaying the Lord for His love for us. It’s about expressing our love for Him. It’s about worship. Where does worship begin? - “Seek the Lord... He will freely forgive” (Isaiah 55:7). How does the love of Christ reach us and change us? You feel like you’re lost. The love of Christ says, “You can be found,” This is the message of Jesus’ parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son (Luke 15) - three parables, one message. It’s not so much about us - our seeking the Lord and finding Him. It’s about the Lord. He seeks us and finds us. In Matthew 26, we read about a woman who worshipped the Lord, and a man who betrayed Him. Worship or betrayal? Which will it be?  * How do we worship the Lord? - We worship Him, when we make Him the top priority in our lives.  * …

Prophecy - From Isaiah To Jesus

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Jesus spoke about His death and resurrection (Matthew 16:210. This is prophecy. What we have here is even more remarkable. We read this, and we think that this must have been written after Jesus’ death. This is the work of the Spirit of God. He sees what lies ahead. He describes these events, as if they had already happened. This is more than a description of what was going to happen. It’s an explanation of the meaning of the death of Christ. Is there a look beyond His death to His resurrection? Yes! “He will see His seed, He will prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will succeed by His hand” (Isaiah 53:10). When these words were first spoken, people must have wondered, “What does all this mean?” They must have wondered about Jesus, when He started talking about His resurrection - “What is He talking about?” When Jesus died for us, and then rose from the dead, everything fell into place. This was what Isaiah and Jesus had been speaking about.

The Lord never lets us down. He lifts us up.

* "O Lord, I cry to You for help!" (Joel 1:19). We look to some people for help - and they're no help to us, God is never like that. He is our Helper. He's always there for us. We call upon Him - and He helps us. He's "the help of the helpless" (from the hymn, "Abide with me"). We may not always feel 'helped' - but we have been helped, much more than we'll ever realize! Praise God! Thank Him for His help - even when you're only very vaguely aware of just how much He has helped you.  * "Even now, declares the Lord, return to Me with all your heart" (Joel 2:12).
"Now" - returning to the Lord is not to be left until later on. With all your heart" - a real return to the Lord must never be a half-hearted thing. * "The Lord will be a refuge for His people" (Joel 3:1).
People let us down. The Lord never lets us down. He lifts us up.

Lord, help us to put first things first.

Numbers 27:1-23 Lord, help us to put first things first. Giving glory to You is more important than anything else. You must come first in our life. Help us to "seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness" (Matthew 6:33).

We thank You, Lord, that Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, "died for our sins" and was "raised" from death for us.

Numbers 28:1-31 We thank You, Lord, that Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, "died for our sins" and was "raised" from death for us (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Help us to rejoice in "the Good News" (1 Corinthians 15:1) of our Saviour. Help us to hear Your great declaration concerning Jesus - "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). Help each of us to say of Jesus - "This is my beloved Saviour with whom I am well pleased."

Grounded In The Scriptures

How do we come to faith in Christ? How do we grow in Christ? How do we receive the Holy Spirit? How does the Holy Spirit work through us to bring other people to Christ? Do these blessings come to us from out of the blue? No. They come to us from the Word of God. We hear God’s Word. We read God’s Word. We learn about Jesus. The Spirit points us to Jesus. He leads us to Jesus. He creates faith in Jesus.
Don’t just listen to God’s Word when you’re at church. Read God’s Word day-by-day – and pray that the Spirit will work in you, “revealing Jesus through the Word, creating faith in Him” (Mission Praise, 279).

Tragedy ... And Triumph

Genesis 3:1-7 The tragedy of Adam and Eve: their fall into sin. We compare this with the triumph of Jesus - His victory over Satan. What made the difference?- standing on the Word of God. Adam and Eve believed the lie of the devil. Jesus took His stand on the Word of God. What about us? Do we stand? or Do we fall? Will we listen to Satan? or Will we listen to God? We cannot be facing in two directions at the same time. We must make our choice. Will our life be self-centred? or Will it be God-centred? God is calling us out of the old life (the Adam life). He’s calling us into the new life (the Jesus life). When we choose to walk with Jesus, He walks with us.

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).

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.”) Danie…

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 Great Future!

Daniel 7:13-14

What a future God has planned for His people. What a great future He is planning for His people. Coronation - What a day of celebration.This is better than any human coronation. It’s better than any human celebration. When Christ comes, this will go beyond our ability to describe or even imagine: the great Kingdom - full of the glory of God; the great Saviour - full of the grace of God. Christ takes us from grace to glory. In Matthew 26:75, we see what Peter was. In Acts 2, we see what He became. This is grace, calling us on to glory.

Lord, You call us to be "soldiers of Christ."

Numbers 31:21-54  Lord, You call us to be "soldiers of Christ" - to "fight the good fight of faith" (2 Timothy 2:3-4; 1 Timothy 6:12). When "the battle is fierce", help us to remember that "the victory is secure. The victory is secure - What a great encouragement this is to us! It encourages us us to keep on going when we feel like giving up. When we feel like we're falling down in the weakness of the flesh, Your victory encourages us to keep on standing in Your strength (Ephesians 6:10-11).

A New Beginning - Based On What Had Gone Before

Mark 1:1-20
This was a new beginning (Mark 1:1), but it was based on what had gone before (Mark 1:2-3). Those who speak of Jesus Christ, their Saviour, are "voices crying in the wilderness", but their ministry is blessed by the Lord (Mark 1:3,5).   We must  never forget this, and we must pray that we will be like John - pointing away from ourselves to Jesus (Mark 1:7-8). Whatever the world may say, we need more of Jesus, not less of Him. If we're going to have more of Jesus, we need more of the Word of God. How can we get to know, love and serve Jesus better, if we're content with keeping everything shallow?  The Spirit of the Lord descends whenever our chief focus of attention is on God's "beloved Son" (Mark 1:9-11). It will not be easy to keep our attention on Jesus. It wasn't easy for Jesus. It won't be easy for us (Mark 1:12-13). John had been "arrested" (Mark 1:14). Would it be any easier for Jesus? Will it be any easier for us? W…

We say, "We want to be happy." You, Lord, say to us, "What about being holy?"

Numbers 32:1-42 We say, "We want to be happy." You, Lord, say to us, "What about being holy?" Happiness is like 'the elusive butterfly." We try to catch it - and it keeps on evading our grasp." Lord, how can we find true happiness? Happiness comes to us when we are blessed by You, when we're learning to take delight in Your Word: "Blessed is the person who ... delights in the teachings of the Lord" How are we to enjoy the blessing of true happiness?  We find true happiness when we're learning to rejoice in You, the God of our salvation, the God who leads us on the Highway of Holiness" (Psalm 1:1-2; Isaiah 35:8). Help us, Lord, to keep on taking the High Road - God-centred holiness. Help us never to be content with the low road - self-centred happiness.

Fire!

Daniel 3:1-30

Fire - danger, heat There is, in God’s Word, a word of warning and a word of promise. This is the way we are not to go. This is the way we are to go.  * “Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).  * “The bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).  * “Our God is an awesome God” (Rich Mullins) - we must never forget this. Fire is to be respected. Our God is a holy fire. He burns away our dross.  * “Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire is to be holy, set apart for You, Lord; I choose to be holy, set apart for You, my Master, ready to do Your will” (Brian Doerksen).  * “O God of burning, cleansing flame, send the fire! Your blood-bought gift today we claim: send the fire today!... We need another Pentecost! Send the fire today!” (William Booth). This is the inspiring and empowering fire: the Holy Spirit. “Give me oil in my lamp. Keep me burning” - burning for God.  * Isaiah 43:2 - “You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.…

Thanksgiving And Hope

"This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes" (Psalm 118:23).
When we think of all that the Lord has done for us, let us think also of what He will do for us. Let us look back with thanksgiving. Let us look forward with hope.

Praying Through God’s Word: Mark’s Gospel

Mark 1:1-20 Lord, we thank You that Your Son, Jesus, has triumphed over Your enemy, Satan. To us, Satan can seem so strong. Help us to remember that Jesus is stronger than Satan. With Jesus as our Saviour, we shall triumph over Satan, our enemy. Mark 1:21-2:12 Lord, help us never to think that prayer time is wasted time. Jesus prayed. Jesus received Your blessing. Jesus brought Your blessing to others. Help us to be like Jesus – praying, receiving Your blessing, bringing Your blessing to others. Mark 2:13-3:12 Lord, there are some changes that are good changes – but not all change is good change. We live in an ever-changing world. We look at some of the changes. We wonder, “Where are these changes coming from?” Is it because so many people have stopped listening to what Your Word is saying to them? What about good change, Lord? Where does good change come from? It comes from You, Lord. Real change, true and lasting change, comes to us when we put our trust in You, when we sa…