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Showing posts from February, 2016

Learning From Psalm 23

Turning to 'the Shepherd Psalm' (Psalm 23), we focus our attention on 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)!

Our 'Good Gifts' And God's Good Gift - The Holy Spirit

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:13).

God's good gift is better than our "good gifts." He's the only One who can give us the gift of "the Holy Spirit."

A Future which is Heavenly, Eternal and Glorious

‘The Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … shone with the glory of God’ (Revelation 21:10). We thank You, Lord, that You have given us a glimpse of a future which is heavenly, eternal and glorious. We thank You that You have shown us the way to eternal life. Jesus is the Way. He is the true and living Way. When our future seems bleak, help us to look to You and Your future. Help us to look to Jesus. Sometimes, we wonder, “What’s the world coming to?” Help us to turn this question around and say, with confident faith, “Jesus Christ is coming to the world.” We long for a place in Your heavenly and eternal Kingdom. Help us, here-and-now, to find a place in our hearts for Jesus. May others see Jesus in us – and catch a glimpse of Your glorious Kingdom.

Daily Devotional Readings: Year One - March

1st March: Genesis 15:1-21 God is greater than our circumstances. God had given great promises to Abraham, yet there appeared no sign that His promises were being fulfilled. The circumstances seemed bleak, and Abraham felt despondent. Abraham was full of questions. In verse 2, he asks, 'What can you give me...?'. This is the question of salvation. What does God give? He gives salvation. In verse 8, he asks, 'How can I know...?'. This is the question of assurance. We ask for assurance. God gives it - the assurance of salvation, the assurance that salvation has been given and received. Where are we to look for answers to these questions? Are we to look to our circumstances? Are we to look to our feelings? No. We look to the 'Almighty God' (2,8). Trusting in Christ, the 'Passover Lamb...sacrificed for us', we receive a sure salvation (6:1; 1 Corinthians 5:7; John 20:31; 1 John 5:13). 2nd March: Genesis 16: 1-16 From salvation and the assurance of salvation…

Daily Devotional Readings: Year One - February

1st February : Genesis 6:1-8 The story of Noah is the story of God's grace - 'Noah found grace' (8). Noah lived in very difficult times (5-7), yet 'Grace found Noah'. His testimony could be summed up: 'Amazing grace...I once was lost but now am found' (Mission Praise, 31). Expanding on the thought of 5:29 - 'this one (Noah) shall bring relief from our work and from the toil of our hands' - we may allow our thoughts to turn to Christ and say to Him: 'Not the labour of my hands can fulfil Thy law's demands...All for sin could not atone, Thou must save, and Thou alone. Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy Cross I cling' (Church Hymnary, 83). In these two statements - 'Noah found grace' and 'this one will bring...', we see both salvation and service. We are saved to serve. Once we ourselves have been found by grace, we are to seek to bring others to Christ that they also may be saved by Him and become His servants. 2nd F…

Daily Devotional Readings : Year One - January

1st January: Psalm 119:105-112 We begin the year with the words of verse 105: 'Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path'. This a great text with which to begin the year. It is a great starting-point for these studies in God's Word. As we journey through life with God and His Word, we discover that there is a Word from the Lord for every part of life's journey. There is never a time when God has nothing to say to His people. Sometimes, He speaks to us from places which seem rather unlikely. As we explore His Word, we learn that He is the true and living God, ever ready to bring to us something new, something fresh, something that will send us on our way rejoicing, something that will strengthen our faith, something to deepen our commitment to Christ, something to increase our love for the Saviour. As we receive God's Word - 'a lamp to our feet and a light to our path' - we are to pray, 'renew my life, O Lord, according to Your Word' (107…

Joy Comes To Us - From Jesus.

"Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully" (Luke 19:6).
Where did this joy come from? Did it come from Zacchaeus? No! It was given to him by Jesus. It came from Jesus' invitation. Jesus invited Zacchaeus to "come" to Him (Luke 19:5). This is where our joy comes from. Jesus invites us to come to Him. Jesus welcomes us when we come to Him.

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).

The Upward Look And The Outward Look

God is calling us to move forward into His future. He's calling us to move forward with Him. He's calling us to move forward for Him. How are we to move forward with God? How are we to move forward for Him? If we are to move forward with God and for God, we must listen to those who have gone before us, and we must learn from them. Let us look back to the prophets and the apostles. Let us look back to our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us listen to them. Let us learn from them. We begin with one of the prophets - Jeremiah. After that, we will look at the apostles, at the beginning of the book of Acts. Then, we will listen to Jesus, our Saviour, and we will learn from Him. After we have learned from the apostles, the prophets and the Saviour, we will return to the question: How are we to move forward with God and for God. Jeremiah 1:4-8 Jeremiah's call to serve God seems to come as a bolt from the blue. He was completely taken aback. He was surprised. He was shocked. He…