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Showing posts from January, 2016

What are we to do when everything seems to be hopeless?

1 Kings 14:1-15:8 What are we to do when everything seems to be hopeless? – We turn to You, Lord. You are the God of hope. Our hope is in You. You can turn things around. Your love changes everything. Your love changes us. Thank You, Lord, for Your love. It’s Your love that gives us hope for the future. We look to the future – and we look to You. We say, “I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”

Lord, You’re calling us to choose the life of fruitful service.

1 Kings 7:13-8:13 Lord, You’re calling us to choose the life of fruitful service – “gold, silver, precious stones”. You’re calling us to leave behind the unfruitful life – “wood, hay, straw” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Help us to hear and answer Your call: “Rise up, O Church of God. Have done with lesser things. Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings.”

The closer we get to Your servants, the smaller they become.

2 Samuel 19:1-39 The closer we get to Your servants, the smaller they become. Jesus is different - very different. The closer we get to Him, the bigger He becomes. Help us, Lord, to make less of Your servants and more of our Saviour. We speak about this one, and that one. Sometimes, we say good things. Often, we say bad things. Help us to speak more of our Saviour. Help us to say nothing but good things about Him.

Life isn't easy. Sometimes, it seems like there are nothing but hard times.

2 Samuel 7:1-29 Life isn't easy. Sometimes, it seems like there are nothing but hard times. There doesn't seem to be alight at the end of the tunnel. That's the way it feels - but it's not the way it is! Our feelings will lead us away from You - if we let them! Our feelings can run riot over us. They can wreck our lives. Help us, Lord, to look beyond the chaos. Help us to look to You. Sometimes, it feels like You're far away. That's the way it seems to us - but it's not the way it really is! You are with us - now and always (Matthew 1:23; Matthew 28:20).

We thank You, Lord, for Your salvation and Your victory.

Psalm 18:25-50 We thank You, Lord, for Your salvation and Your victory. Help us to walk with You in salvation and victory, obeying Your command – “Clothe yourselves in humility”, heeding Your warning – “God opposes the proud”, and trusting Your promise – He “gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).

Let's Help Each Other To Preach God's Love.

Jesus Christ is God’s beloved Son – the Saviour sent to us by the God of love. ‘Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, my Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations’ (Isaiah 42:1; Matthew 12:15-21). These words turn our thoughts towards the Lord Jesus Christ. At His baptism, we hear the voice of the Father – ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’ At His baptism, we see ‘the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on Him’ (Matthew 3:16-17). Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s Word of prophecy: ‘All mankind shall see the Saviour sent from God’ (Luke 3:6). After His resurrection, we hear Jesus Himself speaking. He says, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…’ (Matthew 28:18-20). Let us bring Christ to the nations. Let us serve the Lord in the power of the Spirit. Never take God’s love for granted. Let us be deeply appreciative of Hi…

We Have Forgotten God. He Never Forgets Us.

Hosea 5:15-7:16
We are to leave the old way of sinful disobedience and follow the new way of faith and obedience: ‘Come, let us return to the Lord... Let us press on to know the Lord’. As we return to the Lord, pressing on to know Him, His blessing returns to us. He leads us in the way of fruitfulness: ‘He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth’(6:1,3). We must not be like those who react to God’s Word with ‘pride’: ‘They do not return to the Lord their God’. God longs to ‘redeem’ them, yet they ‘rebel against’ Him: ‘They do not turn to the Most High God’(7:10,13,16). Our ‘love’ for God is not to be ‘like the early dew that disappears’. Let us ‘acknowledge our guilt and seek His face’. Let us love Him with a ‘steadfast love’(5:15; 6:4,6).

Hosea 8:1-9:17
‘Israel’ had ‘forgotten’ and ‘forsaken’ the Lord (8:14). We have not remembered the Lord. We have turned away from Him. We have forgotten Him. We have been ‘unfaithful’ to Him. This is the…

What Kind Of People Are We Becoming?

Hosea 1:1-3:5
‘Hosea’ means ‘salvation’. Married to ‘an adulterous wife’, Hosea spoke with great compassion to ‘the land’ which was ‘guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord’(1:2). He brought God’s Word of love to the people: ‘I will show My love to the one I called, “Not My loved one”’. He spoke to them of the life-changing power of God’s love: ‘I will say to those called, “Not My people”, and they will say, “You are My God”’(2:23). He brought a Word of hope to God’s people: ‘The Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God... They will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days’(3:5). His words of hope point us to our Saviour, Jesus Christ - ‘In these last days, God has spoken to us by His Son’(Hebrews 1:2).

Hosea 4:1-5:14
We read here of Israel’s rebellion against God: ‘A spirit of prostitution leads them astray. They are unfaithful to their God... A spirit of prostitution is in their heart. They do not acknowledge the Lord’(…

God's Love For Us Is Much Greater Than Our Love For Him.

Hosea 10:1-12:9
God’s love for us is much greater than our love for Him. So often, we are like ‘Israel’- ‘they did not fear the Lord’. Our love for God grows weak. His love for us remains strong. He refuses to give up on us. We wander away from the Lord. He calls us back to Himself - ‘It is time to seek the Lord’; ‘You must return to your God’(10:3,12; 11:1,8; 12:6). When we return to the Lord, He leads us in the way of His ‘love’. He teaches us to ‘walk in the Spirit’. He produces in us ‘the fruit of the Spirit’(10:1; 11:3-4; Galatians 5:16-18,22-25). God will help us to grow strong in our love for Him - ‘the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We must ‘not quench the Spirit’. We must ‘not grieve the Holy Spirit of God’(Romans 8:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Ephesians 4:30).

Hosea 12:10-14:9
The Lord loves us. He invites us to come to ‘know’ Him as our ‘Saviour’. We are to ‘return’ to Him and receive the blessings of His salvation. He ‘forgives all our sins’. He leads us in the…

Lord, we sing of Jesus, Your Son.

Leviticus 16:1-34 Lord, we sing of Jesus, Your Son. He is "the man of sorrows" (Isaiah 53:3) - but this does not make us sad. We look beyond His suffering. We see our salvation. We sing of Your salvation. With joy, we sing to You - "Hallelujah! What a Saviour!" We look at Jesus - and we ask the question, "Full atonement - can it be?" We rejoice in Your answer - "Full atonement - Yes it is!" What a a perfect Saviour we have! What a great salvation He has given to us! Help us, Lord, to say, in our hearts, "God forbid that I should ever boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14).

The Lord Our God, The Maker Of Heaven And Earth

Genesis 1:1-3
There is here a real sense of the majesty of God. He is 'beyond description'. We cannot comprehend Him. We can hardly put into words this sense of God's greatness. We are transported into an eternal dimension, which is so different from our earthly existence. We read, 'In the beginning, God ... ' (v. 1). Many live as if humanity was the only reality. Here, it is we who are absent from view. Here, we see God only. Humanity only comes into view when God chooses (vs. 26-27). Everything about this is God-centred rather than man-centred. The light comes when God says, 'Let there be light' (v. 3). Prior to God's Word of command in verse 3, we see the Spirit of God 'hovering' (v. 2). The Spirit is on the alert, ready to move into action, ready for the Word of God to be spoken, ready to empower the Word so that it becomes mightily effective. All that follows - described as 'very good' - comes from God, from His Word and His Sp…

We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, died - so that we might live.

Leviticus 17:1-18:23 We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, died - so that we might live. He was forsaken by You - so that we might live with You. We think of Jesus, suffering for us - "In my place, condemned, He stood." We think of the blessing that He brings to us: "Sealed my pardon with His blood." Here-and-now, there's a song of praise, arising in our hearts - but there's more than that: We look forward to the full glory of Your heavenly and eternal glory: "When He comes, our glorious King, all His ransomed home to bring, then anew this song we'll sing: Alleluia! What a Saviour!"

Worshipping the Lord: Learning From The Psalms

In Psalm 4, there is a great message of the Gospel. By ourselves, we are sinners, turning God’s glory to shame, loving delusions and seeking false gods (Psalm 4:2). By grace, God has done something about this - ‘the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself’ (Psalm 4:3). When we pray, ‘Answer me’ (Psalm 4:1), we have this confidence: ‘the Lord will hear when I call to Him’ (Psalm 4:3). The Lord hears the sinner’s prayer, ‘Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer’ (Psalm 4:1). Jesus Christ is God’s Answer to this prayer. Christ brings relief (salvation). This salvation arises from the mercy of God. In Christ, we have a ‘joy’ and ‘peace’ which the world can neither give nor take away (Psalm 4:7-8). When the seeking sinner comes with question, ‘Who can show us any good?’ (Psalm 4:6), the Gospel Answer is always the same - Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Psalm 5 is a morning prayer: ‘morning by morning’, we are to come before the Lord ‘in expectation’ of His …