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Showing posts from July, 2015

Lord, we thank You for the rainbow – It tells us that You love us!

Genesis 9:1-19 Lord, we thank You for the rainbow – It tells us that You love us! Sometimes, we see a rainbow. Do we wonder about it? Does it have a message for us? We look at the rainbow. Help us to look beyond the rainbow – to the Cross. There’s a great children’s song about the rainbow (it’s sung to the tune, “Early one morning just as the sun was rising … ). It’s a song about God’s love. “When you see a rainbow, remember God is love. When you see a rainbow, remember God is love. Yes, God is love. Yes, God is love. When you see a rainbow, remember God is love.” When the sun is rising … when the rainbow is in the sky … at all times of the day, help us to remember that You love us. Help us to look beyond the rising sun to the risen Son. Help us to look beyond the rainbow to the Cross: “upon the Cross we see, in shining letters, ‘God is love.’” Help us, when there’s no rainbow and there’s no sunshine, to keep on “singing the praise of Him who died, of Him who died upon the …

Be Faithful - In Hearing, Reading And Doing God's Word.

‘Go to meet the man of God and inquire of the Lord through him’ (2 Kings 8:8). God’s servants, appointed by Him to serve the people in His Name, play a significant part in leading the people to a deeper knowledge of God. They bring the Word of God to the people. That is what they have been called to do. It is good to have faithful teaching from God’s Word. There needs also to be faithful hearing, reading and doing of God’s Word. God’s servants can take us so far – and no further. You can take a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink! God’s servants say, ‘Here are ‘the wells of salvation’’. It is up to the people themselves to take the next step: ‘With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation’ (Isaiah 12:3). God’s Word is provided for you. It is delivered to you. What are you doing with it?

When I was in trouble ...

We call upon the Lord, and He answers us - “When I was in trouble, I cried out to the Lord, and He answered me” (Psalm 120:1). The Lord is our Helper - “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2). We worship the Lord - “I was glad when they said to me, Let’s go to the House of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1). We put our trust in the Lord - “we depend on the Lord our God” (Psalm 123:2).

Thanks be to God!

“Our God is a God of victories. The Almighty Lord is our escape from death ... He gives strength and power to His people. Thanks be to God!” (Psalm 68:20,35). These words turn our thoughts to the great words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:57 - “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This victory is the triumph of Christ, risen from the dead. The risen Christ - our Saviour and Lord - gives us victory over our greatest enemy - “death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). It is Christ’s triumph over the devil - “Jesus took on flesh and blood. He did this so that, by dying, He would destroy the one who had power over death (that is, the devil)”; “The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what the devil does” (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8).

Praise and thanksgiving - to God

The Psalmist calls upon all of us to offer our praise and thanksgiving to God - "Shout happily to God, all the earth! Make music to praise the glory of His Name. Make His praise glorious" (Psalm 66:1-2). "Let everyone give thanks to You. Let the nations be glad and sing joyfully ... Let the people give thanks to You, O God. Let all the people give thanks to You" (Psalm 67:3,5).

Great Distress, Great Mercy

Out of a situation of great distress, the Psalmist prays to the Lord: “O God, out of the greatness of Your mercy, answer me with the truth of Your salvation” (Psalm 69:13). “Answer me, O Lord, because Your mercy is good. Out of your unlimited compassion, turn to me” (Psalm 69:16). “Let Your saving power protect me, O God” (Psalm 69:29). When God answers our  prayer for salvation, this is cause for much praise and thanksgiving: “I want to praise the Name of God with a song. I want to praise its greatness with a song of thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30). “Let heaven and earth, the seas and everything that moves in them, praise Him” (Psalm 69:34).

Pain And Praise

The Psalmist is calling upon the Lord to be his “help and Saviour.” He is looking to the Lord for an immediate response - “Come quickly to rescue me, O God! Come quickly to help me, O Lord! ... O God, come quickly to me ... O Lord, do not delay” (Psalm 70:1,5). The Psalmist continues to pray for the Lord’s help: “”O God, do not be so distant from me, O my God, come quickly to me” (Psalm 71:12). In these prayers, we become aware of the Psalmist’s great pain. He speaks of “those who seek his life” and “want his downfall” (Psalm 70:2), his “enemies” who “talk about him” as “they watch him and plot to take his life” (Psalm 71:10). Through all his suffering, we see the light of faith shining brightly - “Because of Your faithfulness, O my God, even I will give thanks to You, as I play on a lyre. I will make music with a harp to praise You, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will sing with joy when I make music to praise You. My lips, which you have rescued, also will sing joyfully…

The Name Of Jesus

“May His Name endure forever. May His Name continue as long as the sun shines” (Psalm 72:17); “May He rule from sea to sea” (Psalm 72:8) - These words inspired the hymn, “Jesus shall reign ... “ The words of this Psalm find a glorious echo in the triumphant words of Philippians 2:9-11 - “At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord.”

God Is Great.

“God is known in Judah. His name is great in Israel ... What god is as great as our God” (Psalm 76:1; Psalm 77:13). God is great. He’s greater than we can put into words, or even imagine. As we think of the greatness of God, we worship Him, singing, “How great Thou art”, “Great is Thy faithfulness.” To the Lord be all glory for all that He is, all that He has done for us, and all that He says to us.

Worship Your Saviour.

The Lord comes to us as our Saviour - “When I said, ‘My feet are slipping’, Your mercy, O Lord, continued to hold me up. When I worried about many things, Your assuring words soothed my soul... The Lord has become my Stronghold. My God has become my Rock of refuge” (Psalm 94:18-19,22). We are to come to him as His worshippers - “Come, let’s sing joyfully to the Lord. Let’s shout happily to the rock of our salvation.Let’s come into His presence with a song of thanksgiving. Let’s come, let’s worship and bow down. Let’s kneel before the Lord, our Maker” (Psalm 95:6). “Sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord! Praise His Name!” (Psalm 96:1).

Where does the best education come from?

Psalm 25:1-22
Knowing You, Lord, is more important than knowing a lot about this, that and the other subject. Where does the best education come from? It comes from You. You teach us about the things that really matter. you teach us about eternal things. You teach us what life is really all about. You are “the God of our salvation.” You “lead us in Your truth” – the truth that changes us, the truth which inspires us to become all that You want us to be (Psalm 25:5).

Be Filled With The Spirit, Addressing One Another In Psalms, Hymns And Spiritual Songs, Singing And Making Melody To The Lord With All Your Heart…’

2 Samuel 4:1-5:25
‘…They came into the house… and slew him…’(4:7). What are we to make of this kind of thing? - ‘What’s the world coming to?’. Where’s it all going to end?’. It is difficult to maintain real faith in the Lord when this kind of thing is going on. What are we to do? Don’t bury your head in the sand. Don’t pretend that such things are not happening. Don’t imagine that that they will just go away. ‘Inquire of the Lord’. ‘Do as the Lord commands’. Keep on believing that there will be a breakthrough - from the Lord(19,23,25,20). Can you ‘hear the sound of rustling in the leaves of the trees’? - ‘The Spirit of the Lord has come down on the earth’. Let us ‘rise, a mighty array, at the bidding of the Lord - The Spirit won’t be hindered by division in the perfect work that Jesus has begun’(24; John 3:8; Mission Praise, 274).

2 Samuel 6:1-23
‘When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart’(16). Michal was a very angry young w…

Save me, O God ...

"Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help;   my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God" (Psalm 69:1-3). Sometimes, we get ourselves into deep water. We're sinking. We're looking to You, Lord. The world is pulling us down, pulling us away from You. We're looking to You, Lord. It's not easy. Life is difficult. There are many problems. We're looking to You, Lord. Help us to keep on looking to You - when we feel like giving up and giving in. Help us to keep on believing that there is the light at the end of our tunnel. We're looking to You, Lord - and we will keep on looking to You, whatever happens."Let heaven and earth praise Him… For God will save" (Psalm 69:34-35). God does not save us because we praise Him. We praise God because He saves us.

More Than A Prophet?

“A great prophet … Are you the one who is coming?” (Luke 7:16,19-20). “A great prophet” – This may be the beginning of our faith, but it’s not the end of our faith.
“A great prophet” – This is the first stage of our faith. We sense that there’s something different about Jesus. Then, we begin to ask the question, “How different is Jesus?” We start to wonder, “Is Jesus more than a prophet?”
“Are you the one who is  coming?” Where does this question come from? It comes to us, when we start thinking, “There’s something different about Jesus.”
We ask the question. God gives His answer. It is an answer that arises in our hearts, as we think about Jesus, as we think, “This is more than a prophet. This is my Saviour.”

Sometimes, we nibble at our food ...

Psalm 23:1-6 Sometimes, we nibble at our food. We don’t feel like eating. We’re off-colour. Often, Lord, we’re like that with Your Word. We could be enjoying a feast – but we’re not! We’re too easily satisfied. There’s no real hungering and thirsting for Your life-giving Word. Lord, give us more hunger for You. Fill us with a deeper desire for Your presence and Your blessing. Help us to feast on Your Word – the Word of life, the Word which we need so much, the Word which leads us into all the blessing that You want so much to give to us.

Help us, Lord, to trust and obey.

2 Kings 23:4-30 “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord” (2 Kings  18:5). Josiah did “according to the law of Moses” (2 Kings 23:25). Help us, Lord, to trust and obey. Give us faith – faith that changes the way we live, faith that leads to obedience.

The Everlasting God

“You are God, from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2). “You are my Refuge and my Fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2). “You, O Lord, are highly honoured forever” (Psalm 92:8). As we read the Psalms, we learn of God - how great He is, how much He is worthy of praise, trust and obedience. We learn to worship the Lord - "The Lord rules as King!" (Psalm 93:1). As we learn to centre our lives on Him, we will be blessed by Him.

Often, Lord, we come to Your House with so little expectation of Your blessing.

Exodus 29:10-46 Often, Lord, we come to Your House with so little expectation of Your blessing. Where does this attitude come from? - It doesn't come from You. You are the great God. You fill our hearts with 'great expectations.' When Satan comes to us, filling our hearts with apathy - the 'couldn't-care-less' attitude, help us to tell him that You are the great God (Psalm 135:5) - great in holiness, power and love, the faithful God who comes to us with great promises of blessing. When, Lord, we are blessed by You, help us to give all the glory to You.

New Strength

God’s Word for hard times: “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).

Setting God’s Servants On A Pedestal Is A Dangerous Thing.

2 Samuel 19:1-39
‘My lord the king is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil’(27;14:17). Setting God’s servants on a pedestal is a dangerous thing. Don’t imagine that they will always get it right. They won’t. They have their faults and failings as well as everyone else. They need forgiveness just as much as anyone else. They look great - from a distance. The closer you get to them, the more you see that they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. From a distance, they seem like spiritual giants. Close up, they’re not so impressive. Build up God’s servants with unrealistically high expectations, and you’re setting them up for a very great fall. The closer you get to them, the smaller they become. There’s one Man who’s different: our Lord Jesus Christ - The closer you get to Him, the bigger He becomes!

New Life

New life for Levi (Mark 3:1-4)
* His name was LEVI.
* He was EVIL.
He was a tax collector, making a fortune for himself at the expense of other people.
* He began to LIVE when he followed Jesus.
What a wonderful message there is in the conversion of Levi.
Our Saviour still calls sinners to make a new beginning with Him (Mark 3:17).
Let’s be like the new Levi – “He arose and followed Jesus” (Mark 3:15).

A Very Important Question

Matthew 25:1-13 Will we be ready, when the Lord returns? This is the question the Lord is putting to us here. It’s the most important question. It’s the question that we cannot evade. It’s the question that won’t go away. It’s the question of our life. What is our life all about? What is most important to us? Who is most important to us – Jesus or ourselves?

The search for wisdom

The search for wisdom may begin for us with the question, “What does the book of Proverbs teach us about wisdom?”, but it must not end there. While it is important to learn what the Old Testament has to say to us, we should not allow ourselves to get trapped in the Old Testament so that we fail to look beyond the first stage of God’s revelation and see the fullness of God’s revelation – our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ: “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2). The book of Proverbs encourages us to search for wisdom. In our search for wisdom, we find that we are led beyond the book of Proverbs. We read what the New Testament says to us – “you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). We are to led to “Christ” who is “the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). Chri…

When, Lord, things are going badly, we start feeling sorry for ourselves ...

1 Samuel 29:1-30:15 When, Lord, things are going badly, we start feeling sorry for ourselves - when we should be getting strengthened by You. You are "our strength and our shield." You give us Your "strength" and Your "peace" (Psalm 28:7-8; Psalm 29:10-11). Give to us the peace that comes to us from knowing that we are not alone. May we not fall down in our weakness. May we stand up in Your victory.

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).

Loving You, Lord, is more important than anything else – but it’s not always the most important thing in our lives.

2 Kings 6:1-23 Loving You, Lord, is more important than anything else – but it’s not always the most important thing in our lives. Sometimes, other things get in the way of our love for You. Help us to love You more truly and more fully – and help us to show our love for You by sharing Your love with our neighbour.

Can You And I Become Giantkillers - For God?

1 Samuel 17 David faced a giant. We face giants. His giant was called Goliath. Our “Goliaths” are the giants of unbelief and disobedience. We’re told that it doesn’t matter what you believe. We’re told that it doesn’t matter how you live. Like David, we must rise up with faith in the Lord. Like David, we must move forward in obedience to the Lord. Let us challenge today’s “Goliaths” – “I come to you in the Name of the Lord … whom you have defied.”We do not face these “Goliaths” in our own weakness. We face them in the strength of the Lord. Knowing that “the battle is the Lord’s”, we take our stand upon the Word of God: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord” (1 Samuel 17:45-47; Isaiah 54:17).

The faithfulness of God

Psalm 89 begins and ends with the faithfulness of God (Psalm 89:1,49). As we think of God, we say, concerning Him, “Your faithfulness stands firm in the heavens” (Psalm 89:2). “O Lord, the heavens praise your miracles and Your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones” (Psalm 89:5). “Mighty Lord, even Your faithfulness surrounds You” (Psalm 89:8).

Everlasting Love

"I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3).
God loves us. This isn’t for some perfect people who’ve never fallen into sin. There’s nobody who’s like that. All of us have made a mess of things – but God still says to us, “I love you.” He says, “My Son, Jesus, died for you.” This is what gives us the strength to choose His way rather than our own way. This is what keeps us from sin. This is what convinces us that there’s a better way than the way of sin. There’s a way of blessing. It comes to us when we’re learning how much God loves us. He doesn’t give up on us when we let Him down. He keeps on loving us. He keeps on lifting us up. He sets us on our feet. He changes the direction of our life. It becomes less about ourselves, and more about Him (Galatians 2:20).
So often, we have been like ‘the prodigal son’(Luke 15:11-24). We have walked away from our Father’s House. We have wandered off into ‘the far country’. We feel that we are far from God, yet…

Lord, what are we to do when we face determined opposition ...?

Exodus 5:1-6:13 Lord, what are we to do when we face determined opposition from people who refuse to listen to what Your Word is saying to them? Lord, teach us to pray. Teach us to take our problems to You - and help us to leave them with You. When troubles come our way, help us to "wait upon You and renew our strength" (Isaiah 40:31).

Lord, help us not to get bogged down in what’s happening to us right now.

Psalm 6:1-10
Lord, help us not to get bogged down in what’s happening to us right now. Help us to lift up our eyes and see Jesus. Help us not only to see Him as a figure from the past – a man who lived a long time ago. Help us to see Him as the Lord who is coming to us from the future, coming to us from the glory coming to us from heaven. coming with His salvation, coming to establish Your eternal Kingdom.

Lord, we rejoice in Your Word of forgiveness and eternal life.

1 Kings 21:1-22:14 Lord, we rejoice in Your Word of forgiveness and eternal life (1 John 1:9; 1 John 5:11-12). When our hearts grow cold and we start taking Your love and Your blessing for granted, help us to pay careful attention to the Gospel warning: “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3). Help us, Lord, when we hear Your Word, not to keep it to ourselves: “What the Lord says to me, that I will speak” (1 Kings 22:14).

It’s better to ‘put a zip on it’ than to ‘put our foot in it.’

Proverbs 10:23-11:11 “With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbour” (Proverbs 11:9). Lord, this is straight talking – from Your holy Word. We need to hear this kind of thing. It keeps us on the right track. It keeps us from going off the rails. When, Lord, we’re tempted to speak words that will hurt other people, help us remember Your Word to us: “The tongue is a fire … With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men … this ought not to be so” (James 3:6-10). Help us, Lord, to keep quiet – or end up saying, I wish I had never said that – It’s better to ‘put a zip on it’ than to ‘put our foot in it’. When we have nothing good to say, help us to say nothing at all.

Sometimes, Lord, we say, “I can’t”, when we really mean, “I won’t.”

1 Kings 20:1-43 Sometimes, Lord, we say, “I can’t”, when we really mean, “I won’t.” We decide what’s important to us. You look at our chosen way of life, and You say, “You yourself have decided it.” You see our self-centred life, and You say, “So shall your judgment be” (1 Kings 20:40). Can we change? Yes! You say to us, “Come, strengthen yourself, and consider well what You have to do” (1 Kings 20:12). You say to us, “Be strong in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:10). Help us to “wait on You and renew our strength” (Isaiah 40:31).

Praising God and finding strength in Him

The way of blessing is the way of praising God and finding strength in Him (Psalm 84:4-5). We worship the Lord - "Your Name is the Lord. You alone are the Most High God of the whole earth" (Psalm 83:18). As we worship Him, our strength is restored. He answers our prayer - “Restore us, O God, our Saviour” (Psalm 85:4). As we worship God, our joy is restored - “Give me joy, O Lord, because I lift my soul to You” (Psalm 86:4). What a joy it is to know the Lord. He’s the Source of all our blessings (Psalm 87:7). Knowing that it is God’s desire to bless us, we come to Him, earnestly seeking His blessing: “I cry out to You for help, O Lord, and, in the morning, my prayer will come into Your presence” (Psalm 88:13).

Singing with joy

Isaiah 54:1-17

Singing with joy (Isaiah 54:1) - Our song comes from the Lord. Our joy comes from the Lord. From ourselves, there is sin. From the Lord, there is salvation. “Through the love of God our Saviour, all will be well ... All is well ... All must be well.” So much blessing is ours, because Jesus is crucified, risen and exalted.
On the Cross, Jesus was forsaken by God so that we might be forgiven by God. At the Cross, He was brought low so that we might be lifted up. From the Cross, Jesus calls out to us.
In love, He speaks to us. His love is the greatest love of all. His love is “everlasting love” (Isaiah 54:8).
This is where our song of joy comes from. It comes from His everlasting love.
In the Old Testament, we see the rainbow (Isaiah 54:9). It’s a reminder of God’s great love for us.
In the New Testament, we have bread and wine - God’s way of reminding us that He loves us so much that He gave his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us.
Through Jesus, we have…

Lifted From The Guttermost, Saved To The Uttermost

"He pulled me out of a horrible pit" (Psalm 40:2).
There are two things that we need to hear about - our own situation and God's salvation.. * Our own situation is hopeless. We need to be saved by the Lord. * The Lord is able to lift us up. He is able to lift from the guttermost - and save to the uttermost" (Hebrews 7:25).