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Showing posts from January, 2015

Lord, You gave Your Son, Jesus - to be our Saviour.

Numbers 7:1-47 Lord, You gave Your Son, Jesus - to be our Saviour. Help us to give ourselves to You - to be Your servants. Jesus died for us. Help us to live for Him. Help us never to forget His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine." May we be challenged by His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all." Help us to respond to His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine, shall have my soul, my life, my all."

We thank You, Lord, that Jesus, Your Son, has taken our sin upon Himself.

Numbers 5:1-31 We thank You, Lord, that Jesus, Your Son, has taken our sin upon Himself. We thank You that He brings Your salvation to us. With Jesus as our Saviour, we cannot remain the same as we were before we met Him. Jesus changes us. He makes us new. Help us, Lord, to live in the power of this new life which Jesus gives to us. Help us to live in His power - the power of His love.

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.

Before we began to serve You, Lord, You were calling us to be Your servants.

Numbers 3:1-51
Before we began to serve You, Lord, You were calling us to be Your servants. Before we can serve You, we must be saved by You. We're saved to serve. Help us, Lord, to receive Your salvation and to give ourselves in Your service. Your salvation always comes first - never our service! Your salvation never stands on its own - it leads to our service! 

Lord, we thank You for Your Word.

Numbers 2:1-34 Lord, we thank You for Your Word. You have spoken to us. You are still speaking to us. It's Your Word that leads us on into Your future. Help us to listen to what You are saying to us, to build our lives on Your Word, to let Your Word flow out from us, to bring blessing to many.

Living for You, Lord, is not easy.

Numbers 1:1-54 Living for You, Lord, is not easy. We face determined opposition from Satan. He keeps coming back at us, again and again. We thank You, Lord, that we do not stand against him in our own strength. We stand in Your strength, in the victory of our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

What great love, Lord, You have for us.

Leviticus 27:1-34 What great love, Lord, You have for us. There is no love like Your love for us. It's the best love! What joy You give to us - the joy that comes from knowing that we are loved with "everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). Help us, Lord, to rejoice in Your love, to be changed by Your love, to share Your love. Your love: It's the best thing we could ever receive from You - and it's the best thing we can pass on to other people!

Lord, help us never to think, "We are blessed because we are obedient."

Leviticus 26:1-46 Lord, help us never to think, "We are blessed because we are obedient." Help us always to say, "We are blessed because You love us and Jesus died for us." Your love for us, Jesus' death for us:  This is where the blessing comes from - and it's where our obedience comes from! We think of Your great love for us. We think of Jesus, crucified for us.  We say, "Lord, You love me. Help me to love You." We say, "Jesus, You died for me. Help me to live for You." This is how Your blessing comes to us - You show us how much You love us, You put Your love into our hearts, the obedience grows stronger - and so does the blessing!

Teach us, Lord, that what You have done for us is always so much greater than anything we could ever do for You.

Leviticus 25:25-55 Teach us, Lord, that what You have done for us is always so much greater than anything we could ever do for You. You gave Your Son, Jesus, to be our Saviour. Your Holy Spirit has come to live in our hearts. He's changing us. He's making us more like Jesus. You give us the privilege of serving You - sharing, with others, the wonderful love of Jesus. You've done so much for us. You've given so much to us. What have we done to deserve all of this? - Nothing! It's Your gift. We can only say, "Thank You, Lord."

Lord, we hear the questions ...

Leviticus 24:1-25:24 Lord, we hear the questions, "Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?" and "Who shall stand in His holy place?" - and we say, 'This is too much for us." We thank You, Lord, that there is Good News for us. There is One who has ascended the hill of the Lord. There is One who stand in Your holy place. Jesus has ascended the hill of the Lord. Jesus stands in Your holy place. He has ascended Your holy hill - for us. He stands in Your holy place - for us. He has "received blessing from You" - for us (Psalm 24:3-5). When , Lord, we come to worship You, help us to come in the Name of Jesus: Just as I am, without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me ... "

Lord, You call us to "worship You in spirit and in truth."

Leviticus 22:17-23:44 Lord, You call us to "worship You in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Where does true worship come from? - It comes from You. It comes from Your Spirit. It comes from Your Truth. We read the Holy Scriptures - and we begin to worship You. We open our hearts to the Holy Spirit - and the spirit of praise grows stronger in us. We listen to the voice of our Holy Saviour - and He leads in the pathway of true worship. True worship comes from You: "Fill Thou our life, O Lord our God, in every part with praise."

Lord, You are the God of perfect holiness. You are the God of perfect love.

Leviticus 18:24-19:37 Lord, You are the God of perfect holiness. You are the God of perfect love. You call us to a life of holiness. You call us to a life of love. How are to live this life of holiness and love? We need the Holy Spirit - the Spirit of love. Without Him, we cannot even begin to live this new life - the life of holiness and love. We thank You, Lord, that You have not left us to live this life in our own strength - "the Holy Spirit ... lives in us" (2 Timothy 1:14).

Lord, what are we to do about our sin?

Leviticus 14:33-15:33 Lord, what are we to do about our sin? What can we do about it? It keeps on spreading. We can't do anything about this. It just gets worse and worse. What can be done about this? We can do nothing - but Jesus can do something about it. He's our Saviour. He comes to us in love. He comes to us in power. He forgives our sin. He gives us a new beginning. The past is put behind us. Jesus leads us on to Your eternal glory. Hallelujah! - "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes" (Psalm 118:23).

We thank You, Lord, that "the vilest offender, who truly believes, that moment, from Jesus, a pardon receives."

Leviticus 13:47-14:32 We thank You, Lord, that "the vilest offender , who truly believes, that moment, from Jesus, a pardon receives." By faith, we receive Your forgiveness - but we never earn Your forgiveness. Forgiveness is always Your gift. It's never a reward. By faith, we look away from ourselves. We look to Jesus, our Saviour. We do not say, "How great is my faith." We say, "How great is my Saviour."

Lord, we thank You that the blood of Your Son, Jesus, cleanses us from all sin.

Leviticus 12:1-13:46 Lord, we thank You that the blood of Your Son, Jesus, cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). We come to the Cross of Christ in our failure. At the Cross of Christ, we receive Your forgiveness. We bring our sin to the Saviour. He gives to us His salvation. Bring us, Lord, out of the darkness of our sin and into the light of Your salvation.

Lord, we thank You that Your call to holiness begins with Your call to salvation.

Leviticus 11:1-47 Lord, we thank You that Your call to holiness begins with Your call to salvation. We're not left to go it alone. You come to us. You come as our Saviour. You take us as we are - but You don't leave us the way You found us. You start changing us. You have great plans for us. You're making us more like Your Son, Jesus. We trust Jesus. We receive His salvation. Help us to follow Him, to be changed by Him, to become more like Him.

We thank You, Lord, that "we have peace with You through our Lord Jesus Christ"

Leviticus 3:1-4:35 We thank You, Lord, that "we have peace with You through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). We thank You that "Jesus is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14). This peace is not something that comes from within ourselves. It comes to us from outside of ourselves. It comes from above. It comes to us from You. It's given to us. It's Your gift. We cannot give this gift to ourselves. We can only receive it by faith - faith in Jesus, our Saviour.

We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

Leviticus 1:1-2:16 We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). In His death for us, we see Your love for us. Help us to come to the Cross of Christ. Help us to worship You in the beauty of holiness. Help us to celebrate Your love in the spirit of thanksgiving.

Lord, help us to listen to Your Word ...

Exodus 40:1-38 Lord, help us to listen to Your Word, walk in Your way and "worship You in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). These are the things that matter most. Are they our priorities? We know, Lord, that they should be our priorities - but we are often distracted. We lose our focus. Other things become more important to us. "Restore our souls and lead us in the paths of righteousness for Your Name's sake" (Psalm 23:3).

Lord, we want blessing - but we're not so keen on obedience.

Exodus 39:1-43 Lord, we want blessing - but we're not so keen on obedience. Help us to learn from Jesus. For Him, obedience was everything. He was fully obedient. For Him, it meant the Cross (Philippians 2:8). Lord, help us not to be thinking, "What are we going to get out of this?" Help us to be praying, "How can we do Your will? How can we bring glory to You?"

Lord, there is work to be done.

Exodus 38:1-31 Lord, there is work to be done. It's Your work. Help us all to play our part. We leave it to someone else - and it never gets done. Change us, Lord. Spectators can become workers. Help us not to hang back - on the sidelines. You're calling us to come into the centre of Your will and Your work. When we're tempted to stand back and watch, help us to come forward and work. Help us to remember this: "There's a work of Jesus none but we can do."

We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, is "pure gold."

Exodus 37:1-29 We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, is "pure gold." There's nothing better than Jesus. there's no-one better than Him. He's the very best. What Jesus has done for us - this is "pure gold." He died for us. He was raised to life for us. This is Good News. It's the best news we could ever hear. Lord, help us not to get bogged down in the bad news of our sin. Lord, lift us up with the Good News of our Saviour.

Help us, Lord, never to think that we have nothing to offer to You.

Exodus 35:1-36:7 Help us, Lord, never to think that we have nothing to offer to You. We can never save ourselves. That is something that You must do for us. We have been saved by Your grace. Now, we must serve You in Your strength. You gave Your Son for us. Help us to give ourselves to You. May we never be half-hearted in our devotion to You. Help us to be whole-hearted in all that we do for You.

Lord, You are the faithful God.

Exodus 34:1-35 Lord, You are the faithful God. You give us Your promises. You keep Your promises. You never go back on Your Word. You always stand by the Word that You have spoken. Your promises come to us from the past. They lead us on into Your future. What a wonderful future You are planning for us. We thank You for Jesus' great promise: "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). Help us to receive His Word, to rejoice in His promise, to be renewed by His love.

Lord, You are the God of holiness. You are the God of love.

Exodus 32:15-33:23 Lord, You are the God of holiness. You are the God of love. Your holiness is loving holiness. Your love is holy love. Help us to see that Your holiness and Your love belong together. It's not one without the other. It's not holiness without love. It's not love without holiness. We need both - Your holiness and Your love. Your holiness shows us our sin. Your love forgives our sin. You love us. Help us to love You - and be changed by Your holy love.

So often, Lord, we get preoccupied with ourselves.

Exodus 30:1-38 So often, Lord, we get preoccupied with ourselves. Our words say that You are more important than anyone else. Often, our lives tell a very different story - 'It's all about us. It's all about what pleases us.' How can we be changed? Lead us to the Cross of Your Son, Jesus. Show us Jesus - dying for us. Teach us to live for Him. Lift us out of our weakness and failure into Your strength and victory - and help us to praise You with hearts that are becoming more God-centred and less self-centred.

Sometimes, Lord, our lights are switched off.

Exodus 27:20-29:9 Sometimes, Lord, our lights are switched off. Sometimes, they're switched on. The light of Your love is never switched off. It's always switched on. Your love is 'all the time' love. There is no love like Your love for us. It's the only 'always and forever' love. Thank You, Lord, for the light that never stops shining - the light of Your undying love. This is the only light that is always shining.

Lord, You call us to speak Your Word - but, first, You call us to listen to Your Word.

Exodus 24:1-18 Lord, You call us to speak Your Word - but, first, You call us to listen to Your Word. How can we speak for You if we're not listening to You? Help us to come to the Cross of Christ. Help us to hear the voice of Your love. Send us from the that holy place - the place of His crucifixion, the place of our salvation - back into the world. May we return to the world as people who've been changed - changed by the love of Christ.

Lord, we come to You in our weakness.

Exodus 6:14-7:24 Lord, we come to You in our weakness. We receive Your strength. In our weakness, we fail. Through Your strength, we shall triumph. When we're stumbling along in weakness, help us to say, with ever-increasing faith, "Our God is marching on to glorious victory."

Often, Lord, we fail You - and we wonder why You bother with us.

Exodus 4:1-31 Often, Lord, we fail You - and we wonder why You bother with us. We thank You, Lord,that You never fail us. When we let You down, You lift us up. Help us, Lord, not to be shaped by our failure. Help us to be transformed by Your love and power. Help us to respond to Your call to "attempt great things for You and expect great things from You" (William Carey).

We thank You, Lord, that You have blessed us.

Exodus 2:11-3:22 We thank You, Lord, that You have blessed us. We have come to You with our sin - and You have forgiven us. We thank You, Lord, that You call us to bring Your blessing to others. We have received Your blessing. Help us to share it with others.

Lord, when hard times come our way ...

Genesis 49:28-50:26 Lord, when hard times come our way, help us to remember that "Your steadfast love never ceases" (Lamentations 3:22). When bad things are happening to us, help us to keep on remembering that You are still the good God. Who are we to say that You are no longer with us – just because we’re going through a hard time? You’re with us in our bad days as well as our good days. You’ve promised to be with us every step of the way. Who are we to suggest that You’ve gone away and left us to go it alone? Help us to trust Your promises – and not to get dragged away from You by our feelings which can go up and down like a yoyo. Sometimes, we’re up. Sometimes, we’re down. With You, there are no ups and down – You’re always the faithful God. You’re always near to us – even when we feel that You’re far away from us. We’ve wandered far away from You – but You’re always near to us. Thank You, Lord, that You are always with us.

Lord, we give all the glory to You.

Genesis 47:1-26 Lord, we give all the glory to You. We think of Jesus, crucified for us - and we say, "Thank You, Lord - You have done for us what we could never have done for ourselves." You have brought us out of the darkness of of our sin and into the light of Your salvation - out of sadness and into gladness. Help us never to forget that You have saved us. Help us to live, each day, as Your faithful servants.

Lord, Your Word challenges us ...

Genesis 40:1-23
Lord, Your Word challenges us, "What do you want to get out of life?" Help us to look carefully at what is important to us. Are we 'looking after No. 1'? Lord, give us ambitions that do not centre on ourselves. Give us a deep persistent desire to glorify You in all that we do - and to find that this is the way of true and lasting joy!

Lord, there are two ways of looking at every situation.

Genesis 35:16-36:43
Lord, there are two ways of looking at every situation. There's the way of faith - and there's the way of unbelief. We can look up to You - and be lifted up by You. We can look at our circumstances and fail to see that You are there, waiting to lift us up, to raise us above our circumstances and make us "more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).

Lord, You call us to love You - and to love our neighbour.

Genesis 33:1-20 Lord, You call us to love You - and to love our neighbour. Help us never to think that we can grow in our love for You if we are not also learning to love our neighbour with the love that You give to us. Help us never to forget You. Help us always to rejoice in the love that You have for us - and to let Your love shine out through us to others. May our love for our neighbour never become a substitute for loving You.

Going Back To The Beginning

“In the beginning, God”  – The first four words of the Bible take us back to the point where we can go no further, back to the eternity of God.
What do we find when we are taken back – into the heart of the eternal God?
We find love. We discover that “God is love.”
Creation is love because God is love. Before God made us, He loved us.
The love which we find in the opening chapters of Genesis is the love that is proclaimed throughout God’s Word – from Genesis to Revelation.
It’s the great love of God for us. It’s the love that never ends. It’s the love that goes on and on.
* How do we get to know God the Creator? How do we come to know that His heart is full of love for us?
In Genesis 1, three words are repeated over and over again: “And God said”.
These words emphasize the creative power of the Word of God.
God created through His Word. He proclaims His love to us through Jesus Christ, the living Word of God. He declares His love for us in the Scriptures, the written Word of God. We come …

The God Of Abraham

Genesis 12:1-3 Our concern is not so much with Abraham. Our chief focus of attention is on “the God of Abraham.” The story of Abraham is both the story of Abraham and the story of God’s grace and power. We see the grace of God, revealed in the promises of God. We see the power of God, revealed in the fulfilment of His promises: “God can do anything; God can do anything; god can do anything but fail; He can save. He can keep. He can cleanse, and He will. God can do anything but fail.” God’s promise to Abraham has three parts: (a) personal – “I will bless you; (b) national – “I will make of you a great nation”; (c) universal – “by you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” As the fulfilment of God’s promise moves forward from Abraham to Israel to Christ, we hear God’s Word speaking to us: “I will bless you” – saved, kept, cleansed. As we receive the blessing of God’s salvation, we discover how faithful God is, in His love towards us. “God can do anything but fail” – …

In The Wilderness ...

"In the wilderness (or the wild country)" (Numbers 1:1). "Stage by stage" (Numbers 33:2) - Moses kept a record of Israel's journey. "In the wilderness", "stage by stage" - When we read these two phrases, and think about our own journey through life, we are invited to think about where we've been, where we are, and where we're going.    Have we been in the wild country for far too long? Will we leave the wild country in the past? There's more to life than being in the wild county. This is the message of Numbers for us today. When we're in the wilderness, what we must remember is this - There's a way out of the wilderness. Where will we find the way out of the wilderness? The book of Numbers gives us God's answer. When we read about life "in the wilderness", we must remember this - We are not alone in the wilderness. God is there with us. He's with us all of the time - not just some of the time. This is what we nee…

When Satan Comes, Sowing Seeds Of Doubt ...

“Behold, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought many devices” (Ecclesiastes 7:29).
* Following the glory and majesty of the Creator and His creation in Genesis 1 & 2, the third chapter of Genesis begins with the enemy of God, the enemy of our souls, the devil, Satan (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2). He is “subtle” – sly, cunning, crafty. He is evil.He sows seeds of doubt: “Did God say?” (Genesis 3:1). From his very first words, it is clear that he is the enemy of God. “Did God say? Did God really say?” One can almost hear the wicked, unbelieving tone of voice with which Satan spoke.
* When the woman heard the voice of Satan, she ought to have turned away from him. She ought to have said, “Get behind me, Satan. I don’t want to have anything to do with you.” She ought to have said this, but she didn’t. She discussed the matter with the enemy. She had no right to do this. There was one answer she ought to have given to the devil: God has spoke…

The Word Of The Lord In Your Mouth

"Now I'm convinced that you are a man of God and that the Word of the Lord from your mouth is true" (1 Kings 17:24).
"the Word of the Lord in your mouth": What a  privilege this is! - God gives us His Word to speak for Him. What a responsibility it is! - May God help us to be His faithful witnesses.

Ordinary Stories - With An Extraordinary Message

In Matthew 13, we see Jesus, the Storyteller. His stories are ordinary stories - with an extarordinary message. The stories are human. The message is divine. They are stories about people. They are stories about God. Following on from Jesus' parables, we have His return to "His hometown" (Matthew 13:54). The people were "amazed" at His teaching (Matthew 13:54), They did not, however, look for a divine explanation. They looked at Jesus in a human way. They said that He shouldn't be able to speak like this. They denied Him the right to speak with divine authority. They did not hear and receive what He said to them. What did Jesus say about them? "The only place a prophet isn't honoured is in his hometown and in his own house" (Matthew 13:57). What was the result of their refusal to recognize Jesus' authority? His power was not released among them: "He didn't work many miracles there because of their lack of faith" …

The Authority Of Jesus - The Word and The Spirit

"It is right to do good on the day of worship" (Matthew 12:12). Why did Jesus have authority over the day of worship? It was because of who He is. He is worshipped. Jesus fulfils prophecy (Mathew 12:17-21). He has authority over Satan (Matthew 12:28). The victory of Jesus over Satan becomes ours when we receive God's Word, with humble faith, as "the sword of the Spirit." This speaks of the work of the Spirit in and through the Word. The Spirit leads us to Jesus. He leads us out for Jesus. Jesus is risen from the dead (Matthew 12:40), Let us serve Him and be His true family (Matthew 12:50).

Lord, help us to stand upon Your Word.

Genesis 31:43-32:21
Lord, help us to stand upon Your Word. You have given us a firm foundation for our faith. You have given us Your salvation. When everything around is shaking, we can stand firm because we know that You are our God. You are the God who has saved us through the death of Your Son. You are the God who gives us new power for living - the power of the Holy Spirit. You are the God who will lead us into the glory of Your eternal Kingdom - Your Kingdom of everlasting love, everlasting life and everlasting light.

Lord, Your way is the best way.

Genesis 29:1-30
Lord, Your way is the best way. We, often, wander off on our own. We forget that we are called to follow You, to walk in Your footsteps. Again and again, we need to be reminded that Your way is the best way. Help us to see that Your way is a wonderful way - even when it turns out to be very different from what we had expected.

Lord, we thank You that You want to bless us ...

Genesis 27:1-40
Lord, we thank You that You want to bless us - more than we want to be blessed by You. We don't deserve to be blessed - but You keep on blessing us. Help us never to forget to say, "Thank You, Lord." Help us always to treasure Your blessing - and to keep on praying that it will grow and grow and ...

Lord, help us to prepare for the future – Your future.

Genesis 25:1-18 Lord, help us to prepare for the future – Your future. Life without a future is no life at all. Often, we feel like we are stuck in the prison of the present. You lift up our eyes. You show us Your future. You fill our pathway with Your light. It is Your light that makes our future very bright – brighter than we can put into words, brighter than we can even imagine. Lead us, Lord, into Your future. Help us to walk with You on Your pathway to glory – Your eternal glory.

Lord, You are with us – even when we feel that You are far away from us.

Genesis 21:22-22:14 Lord, You are with us – even when we feel that You are far away from us. We think about what’s going on in our life – and we get it all wrong! We look at what’s happening – and we think that You’ve gone away and left us. When will we learn? – It’s us who’ve gone away and left you! We start thinking, ‘You need to come back to me, Lord.’ You’re saying to us, ‘No! You’ve got it all wrong. It’s you that needs to come back to Me.’ Even in our darkest days, You’ve never gone away and left us. You’ve always been there – all the time. You’ve always been there – for us. Thank You, Lord.

Lord, what You have done for us – we could never have done for ourselves!

Genesis 21:1-21 Lord, what You have done for us – we could never have done for ourselves! It’s so amazing what You have done for us. We were making plans for ourselves - but our plans didn’t include You! You came to us. You said to us, “I have a wonderful plan for your life.” We look at the plans we had for ourselves, we look at the plan You have for us – and we say, ‘Your way is so much better than our own way.’ Your way is the way of blessing. It’s the way of giving glory to You. Lord, where would be – if You had not come to us, if You had not led us into Your way, if You had not brought us into Your blessing? You did not wait for us to start looking for You – You came looking for us. You did not wait for us to start saying, ‘Bless us, Lord’ – You came to us with Your blessing. You did not wait for us to lift ourselves up – You lifted us up. Thank You, Lord.

Lord, help us to walk with You.

Genesis 19:30-20:18 Lord, help us to walk with You. We can be so good at talking the talk – but we’re not so good at walking the walk: “I can say, ‘I love you’, but do I show it by the way I live? … Talk is cheap. Lip-service is no service at all” (“Talk Is Cheap” – Garry Brotherston). Lord, help us not to be content with saying the right things. Help us to live the right way. We need Your grace every day – if we’re to walk the walk as well as talking the talk. Lord, help us to walk with You.

Lord, the world seems so strong – but You are stronger!

Genesis 19:1-29 Lord, the world seems so strong – but You are stronger! “The world is ever near … my foes are ever near me … but, Jesus, draw still nearer, and shield my soul from sin” (CH4, 644). Sometimes, the battle seems to be too much for us. Sometimes, we feel like giving up. Come to us, Lord. Show us Your love. Without Your love, we are helpless. Our situation is hopeless. Your love brings us help. Your love gives us hope. It’s Your love that makes us “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37).

To You, Lord, be all the glory ...

Genesis 18:16-33 To You, Lord, be all the glory – You have done so many great things for us. So many blessings – and they all come from You, Lord. Our sins have been forgiven. You’ve come to live in us. Such great blessing – but this is just the beginning! You’re leading us on to eternal life. Lord, when our heads go down, help us to lift up our eyes. Help us to “come and see the shining hope.” Help us to look through heaven’s “open door.” Help us to catch a glimpse of “the mighty multitudes of heaven … singing, ‘Alleluia!’ … Love has the victory for ever!” (Mission Praise, 86).

Lord, Your love is greater than our sin.

Genesis 18:1-15 Lord, Your love is greater than our sin. You have a great purpose for every one of us – but our sin gets in the way! You want to make us more like Jesus – but there’s so much of self in us! You want to lead us in the pathway of victory – but Satan’s always trying to trip us up! What are we to make of all this? Are we to give up in despair? No! We must not give up – because You, Lord, never give up on us. Your love is greater than our sin. You will fulfil Your great purpose in us. You will make us more like Jesus. You will lead us in the pathway of victory. Our sin shall not triumph over Your love. Satan will be defeated. Your “love has the victory for ever!” (Mission Praise, 86).

Lord, everything seems so hopeless - when we take our eyes off You!

Genesis 17:1-27 Lord, everything seems so hopeless  - when we take our eyes off You! Help us to keep our eyes on You. Fill us with fresh hope. Sometimes, we can be optimists. Often, we’re pessimists. You’re always “the God of hope” (Romans 15:13). You’re always saying to us, “There is hope” (Jeremiah 31:17). Lord, real hope comes from You. It’s more than human optimism. It’s Your gift to us. It’s Your “gift of eternal life” (Romans 6:23). Lord, real hope comes from You. It’s more than just “hoping for the best.” It’s being lifted up by You, Lord – the God who raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2::24). Thank You, Lord, for the hope that You give to us when we stand upon Your great promises: “I will pour out My Spirit … and everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:18,21). You lift us out of our hopelessness. You give us strength to face the future with confidence – the strength which comes from knowing that You are the God of hope.

Lord, living for You isn’t easy ...

Genesis 16:1-16 Lord, living for You isn’t easy – Satan makes sure of that! We try to escape his evil clutches – but he’s always there, and he’s up to no good! Satan is such a determined enemy. Help us to remind him that he’s a defeated enemy. We’re often tempted – and we feel so weak. Help us to tell Satan that Jesus is Lord – and we belong to Jesus! Satan wins some battles with us. He gives us a hard time. Often, he gets the better of us. Help us to remind him that the final triumph belongs to Jesus. Beyond our present conflict, there is His final triumph; “This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song” (from “Stand up, stand up for Jesus”).

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).

A Call For A Christ-Centred Life

The concluding message, preached by Joshua, is a call for the people to exalt the Lord. They make a definite and public commitment to the Lord. The Christ-centredness of real commitment to the Lord is summed up in the words of John the Baptist: "He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30). We must confess Christ and honour Him - "The One who comes from heaven is above all" (John 3:31). We must listen to what He says to us - "The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit" (John 3:34). It will not be easy to live a life of true commitment to Christ. Nevertheless, we have God's promise: "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you" (Psalm 55:22).

Some Thoughts for Remembrance Sunday

In our remembering, let us not forget the Lord our God, the God of our salvation, the God whose “steadfast love endures for ever” (2 Chronicles 20:21). --Before we can understand what it means to be a peacemaker, we must understand what peace is and what it is not. There is a ‘peace’ that is ‘no peace. We speak of keeping the peace and not disturbing the peace. There is, however, a ‘peace’ which needs to be disturbed if we are to find true peace.--“What do these stones mean?” (Joshua 4:21). The people of Israel were called to remember what God had done for them. They were called to give glory to God. The stones were to serve as a reminder to future generations. There are many things that we might wish to forget. There are some things that we must make sure that we keep on remembering.--The Book of Deuteronomy teaches us much about remembering. “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you”…

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)!

Do You Love God?

Jesus was speaking to men who practised a a very high-brow kind of religion. As far as they were concerned, they did all the right things. They regarded themselves as the people of God. From this high vantage-point of religious observance, these men became proud and arrogant. They looked down on others. Rather than looking deeply into their own sinful hearts and confessing their own sin to God, these men were preoccupied with outward appearances and insisted on passing judgment on the lives of others. Although these men had plenty of religion, Jesus hit the nail on the head when He said to them: "But I know that you have not the love of God within you" (John 5:42). Jesus' words, in John 5:42, begin with the word, "But." Jesus is saying to these proud, religious men, "I know all about your religion, all about your religious traditions, all about the power and the glory of your religion, all about your knowledge of the Scriptures, but there is something else …

"Is there any word from the Lord?" (Jeremiah 37:17).

There are different ways of asking questions.
"Is there any word from the Lord?" This is a question which invites Jeremiah to speak the Word of the Lord.
In Genesis 3:1, we have a very different way of asking questions - "the serpent ... said to the woman, Did God really say ... ?"
The "ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan" (Revelation 12:9) is always trying to get us to stop believing the Word of God.
"Is there any Word from the Lord?" - Jeremiah's answer is "Yes" (Jeremiah 37:17).
What was the Word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah at that time? - "You will be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon" (Jeremiah 37:17).
What are we to do when God's Word doesn't say what we had been hoping to hear? - We must refuse to ask the Satanic question, "Did God really say?" We must learn to say, from the heart, "This is the Word of the Lord."
It's not our place to say what the Word of God s…

Jesus Is The King.

Zechariah 9:9-10

This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus entered Jerusalem.
Jesus is the King - not just a king.
 * What kind of King is He? - “righteous and victorious”, “humble” (Zechariah 9:9)., “to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10).
 * How are we to respond to Him? - “Rejoice greatly... Shout in triumph” (Zechariah 9:9).


Praise The Lord - At All Times!

Psalm 34:1-22
"I will praise the Lord at all times" (Psalm 34:1) - in the bad times as well as the good times. "Rejoice in the Lord always" (Philippians 4:4). "His praise will always be on my lips" (and in my heart) (Psalm 34:1). This Psalm begins with "I" (see also Psalm 34:2 - "I will boast in the Lord"), but it move on, from there, to "Proclaim with me the Lord, let us exalt His Name together" (Psalm 34:3). Note also "I" (Psalm 34:4) and "Taste and see" (Psalm 34:8). The way to happiness - true and lasting joy (Psalm 34:5,8): True joy goes hand in hand with the fear of the Lord (Psalm 34:11-12). The Lord sees us in our need, and He has compassion on us. He is near to us - "Emmanuel." He saves us - "Jesus" (Psalm 34:18; Matthew 1:23,21). What the Lord does for us is summed up in Psalm 34:22 - He redeems us. This is more than changing our life here-and-now. This is eternal li…

Facts, Faith, Feelings

Psalm 46:1-11
"God is our refuge and our strength ..." (Psalm 46;1). "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). First, the truth about God; Then, our feelings are brought into line with the truth about God, Facts; Faith; Feelings  * Facts - Christ's death and resurrection for us   * Faith - I believe the facts. My faith is built on the sure foundation - Christ, the rock of my salvation.  * Feelings - Never start with feelings. They will lead you astray. Safety; Certainty; Enjoyment  * Safety - We have been saved by the Lord. It's His doing - not ours.  * Certainty - We believe His Word. We stand upon His promises.  * Enjoyment - We enjoy His blessing.

Called To Be A Prophet Of God

Jeremiah 1:4-10
How old was Jeremiah when he was called to be a prophet of God? We don't know. We do know that this was the great turning-point of his life. This was the day that he discovered the meaning, purpose and direction of his life. This was revealed to him by God. This call gave him strength to face many difficult times.

No-one else can ever be more important and more wonderful than Jesus.

Knowing the Lord Jesus Christ is more important and more wonderful than everything else (Philippians 3:8).
Paul's testimony lifts us above the shallow superficiality of the worldly way of thinking. Too often, we attach too much importance to the things that aren't really that important. We need to be reminded that Jesus is the most important Person of all. No-one else can ever be more important and more wonderful than Jesus.

Lord, we thank You for Your “amazing grace” ...

Genesis 6:1-8 Lord, we thank You for Your “amazing grace” – “I once was lost but now am found” (John Newton). We think about our life. Did we find our way back to You?- No! You found us! You came looking for us – and You found us. We think about this – and we say, “Hallelujah!” We say, “Praise the Lord!” Do we say, “Hallelujah! We have found Him”? We do say this – but there is something more than this: “Hallelujah! He has saved me.” Thank You, Lord, for Your amazing grace.

Lord, when You speak to us ...

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 gives us the power to ‘walk in the light’ (1 John 1:7) with You.Lead us in the way of fruitfulness - the way of “love, joy, peace ..." (Galatians 5:22-23).

Lord, we thank You for Your great love.

Genesis 6:9-22 Lord, we thank You for Your great love. There is no love like Your love. We think of Your Son giving Himself, in death, for us. We think of His suffering for us and we say, “Saviour of the world, what have You done to deserve this?” We look at the Cross, and we see more than suffering. We see love, and we say, “Saviour of the world … what have we done to deserve You?” Beyond “the mystery of undeserved suffering”, we catch a glimpse of something else – something very, very wonderful: “the deeper mystery of unmerited love” (Common Order, Prayer for Good Friday).

Being With Jesus And Learning From Him

Mark 3:1-19
Jesus' ministry of preaching, teaching and healing was a remarkable ministry - but He did not go it alone. He called disciples to be with Him and learn from Him. How much do we know about these men? We know quite a lot about some of them. There are others about whom we know nothing at all. Do we need to know a lot about all of the apostles? No! We need to know about Jesus. The Saviour is more important than the servants. The message is more important than the messengers. This is a very important lesson. This is a lesson that we all need to learn. This is a lesson that we must never forget. Before we can work for the Lord, we are to "be with Him." We are to speak for Him (Mark 3:14). We are to pray that people will be changed (Mark 3:15).

God is calling us to praise Him.

Psalm 118:19-29 
God is calling us to praise Him.
 * “I will praise the Lord” (Psalm 118:20).
 * “I will praise You” (Psalm 118:21).
 * “You are my God, and I will praise You” (Psalm 118:28).
Praise is more than words that we sing in church. Our whole life is to be full of praise to God.
We come to the Lord’s Table to receive forgiveness from Him. We go from the Lord’s Table to share His forgiveness with others.
 * “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” (Matthew 6:12),
 * “Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive” (Colossians 3:13).
 * How many times should I forgive my brother? - “As many as seven?” “Seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22). If we’re still counting, we’ve missed the point!
 * “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they’re doing” (Luke 23:34).
Thank God that Jesus prayed this prayer for every one of us. Let it shape our attitudes and actions towards one another.
May God help us to be less like the Pharisee, and more like the…