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Showing posts from August, 2016

Jesus loves you. Let Him save you. Let His love change you.

Luke 10:1-37
Christ’s message – ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you’(9) – calls for our response – hearing with faith or rejecting in unbelief (16). Where does this response of faith come from? – From God: He reveals Himself to us (21). Questions: Why do we ask them? – ‘to put Jesus to the test’(25), ‘to justify ourselves’(29)? You cannot come to Christ until you stop trying to justify yourself – Are you trying to test Him or learning to trust Him? (a) What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ (25): The law cannot save. It can only show us our need of the One who does save – Jesus (Romans 8:3-4). (b) ‘Who is my neighbour?’(29): ‘Passing by on the other side’(31-32) – This is not love. It’s nothing like the love of God for ‘sinners’(Romans 5:8). Jesus loves you. Let Him save you. Let His love change you.

Glory To God - Not Man!

In all the social details of the division of the land, we must not lose sight of its spiritual basis (Joshua 21:43-45). The important thing is that God, and not man, receives the glory: "Do not rebel against the Lord or against us by building an altar for yourselves, other than the altar of the Lord your God" (Joshua 22:19). If God, and not man, is to be exalted, there must be new birth (John 3:3,5-7). To the man who is obsessed with his own problems - "My heart is in anguish within me ... " (Psalm 55:4-5), God gives "the wings of a dove" (Psalm 55:6), to rise to higher things.

A river that never runs dry

In Isaiah 46 - 48, we read about Israel's conflict with Babylon and God's verdict on Babylon. We also have the precious promise which God gave to His people: "Our Defender is the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 47:4). Along with the divine promise, there is also the divine call to obedience. God sees that His redeemed people are not living in obedience to Him. He calls them back to a life of honesty and sincerity. He is calling them to walk in His perfect way: I am the Lord your God. I teach you what is best for you. I lead you where you should go" (Isaiah 48:17). He promises to bless them, if they will follow His leading: "If only you had listened to My commands! Your peace would be like a river that never runs dry. Your righteousness would be like waves on the sea" (Isaiah 48:18).

Learning from children and caring for children

Learning from children and caring for children: This is what Jesus speaks about in Matthew 18:1-10. We should never act like we know it all, and have nothing more to learn. We should never act like we're a law unto ourselves. We must do all that we can to protect little children in a world that has so many dangers. We need little children. They have something to teach us. Little children need us. they need the protection that we, adults, can give to them.

Daily Devotional Readings: Year One - November

1st November: Deuteronomy 1:1-46 With the exception of Caleb and Joshua, the older generation - including Moses - was not to enter the land (34-38). For the new generation, there was a challenge. There must be no more failures. One wasted generation was enough. This was the time for real commitment to the Lord. He loved them - He had 'set the land before' them. They were to rise up in faith and ' take possession of the land' (8). We are called to go on with the Lord. 'You have stayed long enough' at a low level of Christian living. God is calling us on to maturity: 'go in and take possession of the land; (6,8; Philippians 3:13-14). Do not hesitate to move forward with God: 'do not fear...It is a good land which the Lord gives us' (21,25). Will we be the new generation, 'a new creation in Christ' (2 Corinthians 5:17) ? 2nd November: Deuteronomy 2:1-37 During their wilderness years,God's people had many problems. God is greater than all the…

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).

Daily Devotional Readings: Year One - December

1st December: John 10:1-42 The Christian life is not easy. The devil 'comes only to steal and kill and destroy' (10). Satan was working through the religious leaders. They were trying 'to stone' Jesus (31). 'Again', they failed (39). They could not take Jesus' life. 'His hour had not yet come' (18; 7:30; 8:20). When Satan attacks us, we must remember this: God is in control. God has given us great promises (28-29). Jesus saves. Jesus keeps. His salvation is eternal: 'He didn't bring us this far to leave us. He didn't teach us to swim to let us drown. He didn't build His home in us to move away. He didn't lift us up to let us down'. Satan will cause us plenty of trouble. Be on the alert (1 Peter 5:8). Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Looking to Jesus, we are assured of this: Satan will be defeated (Revelation 12:9). 2nd December: Deuteronomy 19:1-20:9 Justice is concerned with (a) the protection of the innocent - …

Our Rock And 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).

Daily Devotional Readings: Year One - October

1st October: Numbers 19:1-22 The sacrifice was to be 'without defect'. There was to be 'no blemish' (2). Here, we have a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ - 'without sin', He offered Himself 'for the sins of the people' (Hebrews 4:15; 2:17). The gathering of 'the ashes' (9-10) speaks of the completeness of Christ's work for us - 'for all time a single sacrifice for sins' (Hebrews 10:12). The danger of becoming unclean through touching a 'dead body' (11) - there is a warning for us here. 'Dead in trespasses and sins', we have been 'made alive' in Christ (Ephesians 2:1). We dare not look back (Luke 17:32; Genesis 19:26; Luke 9:62; 2 Peter 2:20-22). We have been purified 'from dead works to serve the living God' (Hebrews 9:14). Christ 'saves to the uttermost'. How dare we 'shrink back' from Him? 'Have faith. Be saved' (Hebrews 7:25; 10:39). 2nd October: Numbers 20:1-29 No man or wom…

Strengthening the faith of all the disciples

"Paul ... strengthened  the faith of all the disciples" (Acts 18:23).
Strengthening the faith of all the disciples - This is such an important ministry. We are not to be content with the faith that we have. We are to press on to a stronger faith. What do we mean when we speak about a strong faith? What we mean is this: We're learning to trust in our strong God. Our God is always stronger than our faith. It's not so much our faith that's strong. It's our God who's strong. The strengthening of our faith - This is about a growing awareness of our strong God. He is our strength. Our faith is growing stronger when we're learning to look away from ourselves - we are always weak - to our God - He is always strong.

Wisdom for living

Practical wisdom, wisdom for living  - this is what we have in Proverbs. The teaching of Proverbs is based on the principle: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 1:7). This does not mean that God is mentioned frequently. In Proverbs 25 - 27, there is only one mention of God (Proverbs 25:2). The concern is with life on earth, our relationships with our fellow human beings. These relationships are to be lived out from the godly perspective which comes from "the fear of the Lord."

Immanuel - God with us

'Immanuel...God with us' (Matthew 1:23). Think of what this means! Here are some words to help you. 'He walked where I walked, He stood where I stand, He felt what I feel, He understands. He know my frailty, shared my humanity, tempted in every way, yet without sin. God with us, so close to us. God with us, 'Immanuel!'. Let your thoughts move on to the Cross - 'He died in my place that I might live'. Let your heart be filled with worship: 'Immanuel, O Immanuel, Bowed in awe I worship at your feet, and sing Immanuel, God is with us; Sharing my humanness, my shame, feeling my weakness, my pain, taking my punishment, my blame, Immanuel. And now my words cannot explain, all that my heart cannot contain, how great are the glories of Your Name, Immanuel' (Mission Praise, 221,326).

The Lord saves and keeps.

"The fear of the Lord leads to life" (Proverbs 19:23). God is holy. We come to Him, confessing our sins. He forgives our sins, and leads us into new life. "Wait for the Lord, and He will save you... The Lord is the One who directs a person’s steps” (Proverbs 20:22,24). The Lord saves and keeps: “The victory belongs to the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31). Saving and keeping us, as He leads along the pathway of discipleship, the Lord brings us to our final victory. This is the great triumph, described in the jubilant words of 1 Corinthians 15:58 - “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

"What the Spirit says to the churches"

"What the Spirit says to the churches" (Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22). What does the Spirit say to the churches? - He speaks the words of Christ, the risen Lord.  * We need the Spirit - "Be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18).  * We need the Scriptures - "Let the word of Christ dwell among you richly" (Colossians 3:16). To His enemies, Jesus said, "You do not know the Scriptures or the power of God" (Mark 12:24). He is calling us to know both the Scriptures and the power of God. A real knowledge of the Scriptures will always be more than head-knowledge. It will also be knowledge of the power of God. "What the Spirit says to the churches" - It will be more than a knowledge of the power of God. It will also be knowledge of the Scriptures. May God give us much of both - knowledge of the Scriptures and knowledge of the power of God. This is what it means to "walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16). We will walk with the …

Another “3:16″ to set alongside John 3:16!

John 3:16, Rev 3:16–20
In John 3:16, we read these wonderful words concerning God’s love: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Here’s another “3:16″ – “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16). This “3:16″ leads on to some other words about God’s love: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent” (Revelation 3:19). Called to repentance by the God of love, we hear the great promise given to us by our Saviour: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).