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Showing posts from May, 2016

Dedicated To The Lord ...

The name, “Samuel”, tells the story, leading up to his birth. His name means “God hears”. Samuel was given this name to indicate that he was God’s answer to Hannah’s prayer: “I asked the Lord for him” (1 Samuel 1:20). She gave her son back to the Lord - “I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. In return, I am giving him to the Lord. He will be dedicated to the Lord for his whole life” (1 Samuel 1:11,28). Hannah’s prayer begins with the words, “”My heart finds joy in the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:1). Her son, Samuel, was going the Lord’s way. This was something which made Hannah rejoice in the Lord. We read about Samuel’s spiritual growth (1 Samuel 2:18,21). “The boy Samuel grew up in front of the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:18,21). “The boy Samuel continued to grow and gained the favour of the Lord and the people” (1 Samuel 2:26). For Samuel, this was just the beginning. There were greater things to come: “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of …

The Holy One of Israel, ’ The God of the whole earth

Isaiah 54:1-17‘The Lord’ is not only ‘the Holy One of Israel’. He is ‘the God of the whole earth’ (Isaiah 54:5). The Gospel is for ‘all nations’. The ministry of Christ’s apostles began in ‘Jerusalem’, but it did not end there. The Gospel was to be taken ‘to the ends of the earth’ (Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8). Taking the Gospel out from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth was not easy. The apostles faced much opposition. They stood upon God’s promise: ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper’ (Isaiah 54:17). When we face opposition, we must take our stand on the Word of God: ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31). Even when our words seem to fall on stony ground, we must keep on speaking the Word of God’s love: ‘With everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer’ (Isaiah 54:8).

Begin ... Build ... Be Blessed ...

* Begin with God. The first verse of the Bible gives us the best starting-place for our life: "In the beginning, God" (Genesis 1:1). Let us "seek first God's Kingdom and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). "In the beginning, God" - This is what gives our life its true meaning, purpose and direction. * Build on God's Word. We don't speak God's Word to ourselves. God's Word is spoken to us. In His written Word, He has given us a firm foundation for living to His glory (2 Timothy 3:14-17). Learning from the Scriptures, let us build our life on our Saviour. * Be Blessed in God's Spirit. Being "in the Spirit" is not just having a "happy" feeling. It's learning to "walk with the Lord in the light of His Word." How are we to "be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18)? God's Word tells us - "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Colossians 3:16).

Before the creation, there is the Creator.

Genesis 1:1-2:3 Before the creation, there is the Creator.  * He is the chief focus of attention in the Bible’s first chapter. Wherever we look in Genesis 1, we see the word, God. This is about Him. Genesis 1 speaks about us. It tells us where we have come from. We have come from God. He is our Creator. Take away God, and our life has no meaning, no purpose, no direction.  * Move on from the Bible’s first chapter. Read the rest of Genesis, the rest of the Old Testament,the rest of the Bible. What do you find? The Bible is a Book about God. It’s not only a Book about God. It’s a Book that has been given to us by God. It’s His Word.  * What about our faith and our life? Our faith comes to us from God. Our life has been given to us by God. We are to put our faith in God. We are to live our life for God.  * “God said, Let there be light, and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). The light of God’s love and holiness. “He created us in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). Created by God - …

The Friend of a Wounded Heart

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Look at the rainbow. Look beyond the rainbow.

Genesis 9:8-17 We look at the rainbow. We see the love of God. We look beyond the rainbow. We look to the Cross. There, we see the supreme demonstration of the love of God. There, we see Jesus, suffering for us. His suffering is the suffering of love. It wasn't the nails that held Him to the Cross. It was His love for us that sent Him to the Cross. It was His love for us that kept Him on the Cross.

Out From The Background ...

Exodus 3:1-22

Moses may have been content to remain in the background. God was calling him to step into the foreground - for God’s people.
This is more than the story of Moses. It’s the story of Israel. It points forward to God’s purpose for all nations. When we read the Old Testament story, we find that God is saying to us, ‘This is just the beginning. There is more than this.’ From Exodus to the Gospels, to Acts, to the book of Revelation: We’re not at the final triumph yet. Like those who have come before us - Moses, the Psalmist, the prophets, Jesus, Peter, Paul, we must face conflict. There will be glimpses of glory, but the full glory is still to come.
In Exodus, we see God’s people on a journey. It’s a journey with God. It’s a journey of faith. We see the same thing in Acts.In the work of God, there are people who are very significant - Moses and Peter. The work of God is always bigger than such individuals. Let us never forget the people who remain in the backg…

Light and salvation

Psalm 27:1-14
The Lord brings light and salvation to us. He is our light and our salvation (Psalm 27:1). When the Lord saves us, He gives us a great desire to worship Him (Psalm 27:4). We are on a journey - a lifelong journey, an eternal journey (Psalm 27:13-14) - “all the days of  my life, “forever” (Psalm 23:6). “Wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). We need to hear this for both our lifelong journey and our eternal journey.

I will praise the Lord ...

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

How Great Is Our God!

"Who can speak about all the mighty things the Lord has done? Who can announce all the things for which He is worthy of praise?" (Psalm 106:2).

There is always more to be said about the Lord than we can ever say. When we have said all that we can say, we have not said enough. The Lord is always greater than all our words about Him. How great is our God! How great is His mighty work of salvation! Praise be to His Name - the Name of our salvation.

Strong In The Lord

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

Our strength comes from the Lord. In ourselves, we are weak. In Him, we are strong.

From the evil path - to the everlasting path

“Examine me, O God, and know my mind. Test me, and know my thoughts. See whether I am on an evil path. Then, lead on the everlasting path.” (Psalm 139:23-24). The Lord leads us away from the “evil path”, and on to the “everlasting path.” He “hears our plea for pity.” He hears our cry to Him,”Come quickly.” He comes to us as “the strong One who saves us” (Psalm 140:6-7; Psalm 141:1).

Praying Through God's Word: Genesis

Genesis 1:1-3 Lord, help us to get our priorities right - Your priorities. May our lives be more centred on You - less centred on ourselves. Help us to listen for Your Word - not to jump straight in with our own words. Help us to open our hearts to Your Holy Spirit. May He move among us - in power, in love, in holiness, in victory. Transform our life, O Lord - May we live as a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). May we know the great blessing of knowing that Jesus, our Saviour, is always "God with us" (Matthew 1:23).
Genesis 1:4-13
Lord, when You speak to us, help us to say, ‘Your will be done’ (Matthew 6:10).
‘Let it be to me according to Your Word’ (Luke 1:38) - This was Mary’s prayer. May it also be our prayer. By ourselves, we are helpless and hopeless - Without Your help, we have no hope of doing Your will and pleasing You. We need Your Holy Spirit - May the Spirit’s ‘living water’ flow in us (John 7:37-39).Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Your Holy Spirit - He giv…