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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).

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.

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 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.

Lord, living for You is not easy. We have a fight on our hands.

Deuteronomy 7:1-26
Lord, living for You is not easy. We have a fight on our hands. Satan is a determined enemy. Help us to remember that He's also a defeated enemy. When the battle seems to be getting too much for us, help us to remember that we are "kept by the power of God" (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Two ways of living

Psalm 1 The first Psalm speaks to us about two ways of living – the Lord’s way and the world’s way. Each of us must choose. When we choose God’s way, His blessing fills our lives. We must not turn away from Him, and lose out on His blessing. May God help us to keep on walking with Him, and to enjoy His blessing on our lives.

“Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”

There is to be prayer from “every one who lives in the land” (Joel 1:14). It is to be personal prayer - “O Lord, I cry to You for help!” (Joel 1:19). These two belong together - prayer for the nation and personal prayer. This is expressed so well in the words: “O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee. Send a revival. Start the work in me.” We hear the words, “Return to the Lord, your God” (Joel 2:13). They are followed by some wonderful words about the character of God - “He is merciful and compassionate, patient and always ready to forgive and to change His plans about disaster” (Joel 2:13). How do we know that God is like this? We look at what He has done for us - “Be glad and rejoice. The Lord has done great things!” (Joel 2:21). Looking at all that the Lord has done for us, we trust His promise: “Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32). This salvation is more than forgiveness for past sins. It’s more than the future glory of being in God’s eve…

Putting God First

God calls us to follow “the way of righteous people” (Psalm 1:6). He directs our attention to His “Son”, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Psalm 2:7). He promises blessing to those who “take refuge ... In Him” (Psalm 2:12). There is much opposition: “O Lord, look how my enemies have increased! Many are attacking me. Many are saying about me, ‘Even with God on his side, he won’t be victorious’” (Psalm 3:1-2). We need not be afraid of these enemies - “Victory belongs to the Lord! ... You, O Lord, are a shield that surrounds me” (Psalm 3:8,3).

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear.

We are not to be afraid of those who oppose God and His Word (Jeremiah 42:11). We are to trust God. We are to stand on the promises that He has given to us in His Word – “I will have compassion on you” (Jeremiah 42:12).

The Joy Of The Lord

"Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord" (Psalm 64:10). Lord, You give us joy - true joy, lasting joy. This is Your joy. It's not just a passing emotion. It's more than a feeling that doesn't last very long. Your joy changes us. It gives us the strength to live as "a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Listening To The Word Of The Lord - And Being Changed By The Word Of The Lord

Jeremiah’s ministry was a call from God to the people – a call to “listen to the Word of the Lord” (Jeremiah 44:24). Listening to what the Lord has to say to us will mean being ready to revise our own ideas. Our thoughts, without the guiding Word from the Lord, will be very different from thoughts which have been shaped by the Word of the Lord.

Lord, You're calling us to grow in Christ.

Numbers 4:1-49 Lord, You're calling us to grow in Christ. You're calling us to be changed - changed in our way of thinking, changed in our way of living. You're calling us to be less self-centred - and more centred on You. May there be less doing our own thing - and more following Jesus, less living in the weakness of the flesh - and more living in the power of the Spirit.

Jesus Christ - the "Rock of our salvation"

You, Lord, are "our rock and our salvation" (Psalm 62:2,6).  We think of Your Son, Jesus Christ - the "Rock of our salvation" (1 Corinthians 10:1-4,16), and we say, "Your steadfast love is better than life ... I will praise You as long as I live" (Psalm 63:3-4). We look at Jesus, our great Saviour, and we say, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15).