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Showing posts from June, 2016

Daily Devotional Readings: Year One - July

1st July: Exodus 20:21-21:32 So many instructions - Don't get bogged down in details. Remember this: We do not live by an ethic of legalism. This is an ethic of redemption (20:1-2). Forget the God of redemption, and you have nothing but a lot of rules and regulations. Become obsessed with rules and regulations, and there will be no room for the Redeemer and His redemption. 'Earmarked' for Jesus, we are to 'serve Him for life' (6). No turning back! We are bound to Him by love - not law! What love He has for us! Verse 30 speaks of 'ransom' and 'redemption': What great words of the Gospel (Mark 10:45; 1 Peter 1:18-19)! 'Eye for eye...' (24) - This limits vengeance. Remember: Love is the answer - not vengeance (Leviticus 19:18)! Let Christ's love give you strength - to keep on serving Him (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:6). 2nd July: Exodus 21:33-22:31 We travel from grace to glory - from 'Egypt' to 'the promised land'. In the…

One Year Bible: Days 182-212

Day 182 2 Kings 3:1-4:37; Acts 21:1-26; Psalm 78:56-72 “Then the Lord awoke from sleep” (Psalm 78:65). When the Lord awakes from sleep, there is awakening. In 2 Kings 4:32-35, we see an example of such awakening - resurrection from the dead. How does such awakening come? It comes when the Lord’s people pray earnestly, with actions as well as words, “The Lord’s will be done” (Acts 21:14). To say this and mean it will be costly: “I am ready ... to die ... for the Name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13).
Day 183 2 Kings 4:38-6:23; Acts 21:27-22:21; Psalm 79:1-13 Elisha was known as “the man of God” (2 Kings 4:40,42; 2 Kings 5:8,14-15,20; 2 Kings 6:9,15). What a marvellous description - “the man of God.” To Paul, the call of God came - “You will be His witness” *Acts 22:15). Called to be a “man of God”, called to be “His witness” - what a high calling this is! Being a “man of God, being “His witness”, involves calling on the Lord: “How long, O Lord? Will You be angry for ever? ... Help us, O God …

Sometimes, Lord, it seems like You have left us.

2 Samuel 13:1-39 Sometimes, Lord, it seems like You have left us. We feel like we're looking for You, but we're not finding You. We ask, "Where have You gone?" - then we start thinking, "Have you really left us?" or "Are we the ones who have wandered away from You?" Call us back to Yourself, Lord. Show us where we've gone wrong. Lift us above our changeable feelings into Your unchangeable love. Show us that You're beside us every step of the way - especially when we find it difficult to feel that You're really with us.

Lord, You speak to us the Word of condemnation ... You also speak to us the Word of compassion.

Deuteronomy 32:19-33:17 Lord, You speak to us the Word of condemnation. You tell us that we are "a perverse generation" You tell us that "You will hide Your face from us" (Deuteronomy 32:20). You also speak to us the Word of compassion - "The Lord will ... have compassion on His servants, when He sees their power is gone" (Deuteronomy 32:26). Help us, Lord, to hear the Word of condemnation - to know that "our power has gone", so that we can hear the Word of compassion, the Word that comes to us in our weakness, the Word that brings us into Your strength - "a new creation in Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

We sing to You, Lord.

Deuteronomy 31:14-32:18 We sing to You, Lord. We sing our song of praise. It's the song of Your salvation. It's the song that gives glory to You. May our song of praise be more than words. May it be the song that arises from our hearts. May it be the song that comes from lives that are being transformed by Your grace.

Lord, You are not a god who keeps his distance from us.

Deuteronomy 30:1-31:13 Lord, You are not a god who keeps his distance from us. You are not a god who keeps his silence.You come near to us. You speak Your Word to us (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). How do we know that You are near to us? How do we know that You speak Your Word to us? Jesus is "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). He is "the Word made flesh" (John 1:14). Thank You for Jesus - He comes near to us and He speaks to us. Help us, Lord, to treasure His presence and to respond to His Word.

We thank You, Lord, that You love us.

Deuteronomy 24:1-25:29 We thank You, Lord, that You love us. We thank You that You have done great things for us. We think of Your great love. We think of all that You have done for us - and we say, "To God be the glory."

Why, Lord, do You speak to us the Word of warning and the promise of blessing?

Deuteronomy 28:25-68 Why, Lord, do You speak to us the Word of warning and the promise of blessing? There is a good way to which we must turn - and there's also a bad way from which we turn. How can we really appreciate and embrace the good way if we do not see the clear contrast between the good way and the bad way? Help us, Lord, to choose the good way - to choose Jesus, who is "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6).

Lord, You speak to us Your Word of warning - and Your promise of blessing.

Deuteronomy 27:11-28:24 Lord, You speak to us Your Word of warning - and Your promise of blessing. You call us back from the way of disobedience - and on to the pathway of obedience and blessing. Where does the blessing come from? Does it come from our obedience? No! It comes from Your love. It comes from Your promise. Your love reaches us in our sin. Your blessing increases in us as we learn to turn from our sin and give You first place in our lives.

Lord, You have saved us. You call us, now, to live in obedience to Your Word.

Deuteronomy 26:1-27:10 Lord, You have saved us. You call us, now, to live in obedience to Your Word. Teach us Your way, Lord, and help us to walk in it. May the light of Your love shine upon us. May Your love for us fill us with more love for You.

From Prophecy To Power

"The Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:2,5,8,16) - This was the time for the fulfilment of promises made by Jesus during His earthly ministry (John 14:16,25; John 16:12). "The Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4,17-18,33,38) - God is doing a new thing. This far surpasses all that happened in the Old Testament. What had been promised is now reality. From prophecy to power - This is what happened on the Day of Pentecost.

Set Free By The Lord, Set Free For The Lord

Before we come to “the Ten Commandments”, we have these great words, “ I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Exodus 20:2).  Grace comes first. Holiness follows on from grace. We see the same pattern in the New Testament – in the teaching of Jesus, in the letters of Paul. From the ministry of Jesus, we have the words, “Neither do I condemn you … Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). “Neither do I condemn you” – This is grace. “Go and sin no more” – This is holiness. It’s not grace without holiness. It’s not holiness without grace. It’s grace and holiness together. It’s grace leading on to holiness. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians begins with grace – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Paul emphasizes that we have been saved by grace and we are called to holiness –  “By grace you have been saved, through faith … to …

Lord, we have begun to follow Jesus.

Numbers 11:1-35 Lord, we have begun to follow Jesus. Help us to keep on following Him. Again and again, we are tempted to turn back, to return to the ways of this world. Help us to keep on saying, "I have decided to follow Jesus - No turning back. The world behind me, the Cross before me - No turning back. If no-one joins me, still I will follow - No turning back."

Far too easily, Lord, we accept defeat - when You're leading us on into Your victory.

1 Samuel 30:16-31:13 Far too easily, Lord, we accept defeat - when You're leading us on into Your victory. What's wrong with us? It's sin. That's our problem. It never goes away, this problem of ours - but we don't have to fight against it in our own strength. Our sin may seem to be inevitable - "That's the way I am. That's the way I've always been. That's the way I'll always be." Our sin isn't invincible. Jesus triumphed over sin. That's what He did when He died for us and rose again. Jesus won the victory for us. He gives His victory to us. Help us, Lord, to receive His strength, to walk in His victory, and to say. "This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes" (Psalm 118:23).

We thank You, Lord, that our determined enemy - Satan - is Your defeated enemy.

Numbers 33:50-34:29 We thank You, Lord, that our determined enemy - Satan - is Your defeated enemy. To us, the devil seems so powerful. In Your eyes, He is defeated - defeated by Jesus, our crucified Saviour and risen Lord. Jesus has triumphed over Satan. He has won the victory for us (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14-15). Lord, Your Word says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 5:7). Will he really flee from us? He flees from Jesus - but, surely, not from us? Have we not forgotten something? - Jesus won the victory for us. He gives His victory to us. Help us to resist the devil - in the victorious Name of Jesus. He will flee from us. Why? Because Jesus is Lord over Satan. It's not us he's fleeing from. It's Jesus. When the devil comes 'knocking on our door', help us to send Jesus to the door - and send him packing!

By Your grace, Lord, You call us to be Your soldiers and servants.

Deuteronomy 19:1-20:9 By Your grace, Lord, You call us to be Your soldiers and servants. Help us not to be "fearful and fainthearted" (Deuteronomy 19:19). Help us to be "good soldiers of Jesus Christ" (2 Timothy 2:3). When we hear your challenging question: "Who is on the Lord's side?", may we give our committed answer: "By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine, we are on the Lord's side; Saviour, we are Thine."

Help us, Lord, to be obedient to Your Word.

Deuteronomy 17:14-18:22 Help us, Lord, to be obedient to Your Word. Help us, in our obedience, to remain humble. How can we possibly bring glory yo You if we're thinking about how obedient we are when we should be rejoicing in the great love by which You have saved us and the great power by which You keep us walking in the way of faith? Even when we're pressing on to a closer walk with You, help us never to forget this: "Who is a God like You, forgiving sin ... " (Micah 7:18-20).

We thank You, Lord, that the devil flees from us when we flee to Jesus.

Numbers 35:1-36:13 We thank You, Lord, that the devil flees from us when we flee to Jesus. What a precious promise is given to us in Your Word: "The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe" (Proverbs 18:10). Who are "the righteous" - Surely, not us? We've failed You so often. How can we be "the righteous"? Jesus Christ is "righteous" - and He has died for our sins (1 John 2:1-2). This changes everything - "There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). What a Saviour! What a victory over Satan! Thank You, Jesus.