Without the Lord, there is no salvation. Without Him, there is no
victory. Jonah's story was a disaster story - until God stepped in. It
was God who changed everything. That's the way it was with Jonah. That's
the way it is with us.
does this remembering come from? It comes from the Lord. He puts the
prayer into our hearts. Jonah was running away from God. God was drawing
Jonah back to Himself. Like Jonah, we lose our way in life. That's
when we need to hear the wonderful words of Jesus, our Saviour. He
tells us that He "came to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10).
my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From deep in the
realm of the dead I called for help, and You listened to my cry" (Jonah
are we to do when the going gets tough? We've heard the saying, When
the going gets tough, the tough get going. We wonder if this really
helps. What if we find that we're not really so tough? What happens
when we can't get going? There are times when we know that this is too
much for us. We can't raise ourselves up. We need to be lifted. We need
You, Lord. You are "the lifter of my head." (Psalm 3:3). It's Your
love that lifts us: "Love lifted me. When no-one but Christ could help,
love lifted me" (James Rowe).
"O Lord, I cry to You for help!" (Joel 1:19). We
look to some people for help - and they're no help to us, God is never
like that. He is our Helper. He's always there for us. We call upon
Him - and He helps us. He's "the help of the helpless" (from the hymn,
"Abide with me"). We may not always feel 'helped' - but we have
been helped, much more than we'll ever realize! Praise God! Thank Him
for His help - even when you're only very vaguely aware of just how
much He has helped you. "Even now, declares the Lord, return to Me with all your heart" (Joel 2:12).
"Now" - returning to the Lord is not to be left until later on. With
all your heart" -a real return to the Lord must never be a half-hearted
thing. "The Lord will be a refuge for His people" (Joel 3:1). People let us down. The Lord never lets us down. He lifts us up.
we have a vision that was intended for Daniel. The vision was not
given to the men who were with him. While this was, for Daniel, a
unique experience of divine revelation, it raises for us a more general
question: Why is it that some people receive blessing from the Lord,
while others miss out on the blessing? What
are we to say about those who miss out on God's blessing? They may be
present when the Lord's people are gathered together for worship - but
they have no real sense of the Lord's presence. The power of the Lord
is at work in the lives of others, but nothing happens to them. The
Word goes on one ear and out the other. Others are being transformed.
They remain unchanged. Are we simply to say, "Some are blessed by the
Lord. They give thanks for His blessing. Sadly others miss out on His
blessing - and we can say no more about this"? In Romans 9:13,
we read these awesome words: "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have
"O Lord" - This is prayer. We do not take our problem to everyone else but the Lord. We take our problem to the Lord. "Hear" and "listen"
- There can be a very real difference between hearing and listening.
Something is said in our hearing, but we're not listening. When
something is important, we say, "Are you listening?" Why do we want
to make sure that the hearer is paying attention to what we're saying? -
Because it's important to us. When we say to the Lord, "Hear" and
"listen", we're saying, "Lord, this is important to me." "Forgive" and "act"
- We want to break free from our past. We want to be set free for
God's future. Don't let my past sins hinder my future blessing. Send
Your blessing, Lord. That's what we're praying for when we say, "Lord,
forgive and act." "Do not delay for Your own sake, my God" -
This is urgent…
before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven…
His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed’ (Daniel 7:13-14). These
words point us to Christ’s description of His Second Coming, the
Coming of His Kingdom: ‘They will see the Son of Man coming on the
clouds of the sky, with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). In
Revelation 1:7, we have another echo of Daniel’s ‘vision’: ‘Look, He is
coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him’. ‘Lo! He comes,
with clouds descending… Yea, Amen! let all adore Thee, high on Thine
eternal throne; Saviour, take the power and glory, claim the Kingdom
for Thine own. O come quickly! O come quickly! O come quickly!
Alleluia! Come, Lord, come!’(Church Hymnary, 316).
Our life on earth is " a cloudy and dark day." Left to ourselves, we
always lose our way. We cannot find our way back on to the way of the
Lord without the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus does not leave us
to stumble around on a "cloudy and dark day." He has come "to seek and
to save the lost" (Luke 19:10). He is "the Light of the world" (John 8:12). His Light is still shining brightly. The darkness can't put it out (John 1:5).
We look to Jesus, and we see beyond "the cloudy and dark day." We look
to Him, and we say, "The Lord is my light and my salvation" (Psalm 27:1).
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
not our place to say what the Word …
Day by day, we learn more about our own human failure. Day by day, we
learn also of God's divine faithfulness. "We are faithless. He remains
faithful" (2 Timothy 2:13). Day by day, let's praise God for His
wonderful love, His amazing grace and His superabundant marvellous
mercy. "The grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant ... Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners ... I obtained mercy ... Now to the
King eternal ... be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen" (1
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 still He
draws near to us. The
Lord is at work in our …
not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord,
the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”... Has this house,
which bears My Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been
watching! declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 7:4,11). Jeremiah
spoke to the people of his own day. He speaks to us as well. Don't let
the place where you worship become more important than it really is.
This is what he says to us. These are not only the words of Jeremiah.
This is the Word of the Lord. What's happening in our hearts when we
are gathered together in the House of the Lord? Are we thinking to
ourselves, "I never miss a church service - not like those who've
stopped coming to church"? What kind of "worship" is this? Lord, take
us to the heart of worship. Give us a worshipping heart.
worship the Lord. We listen to His Word. It's His Word that inspires
our worship. How can we worship the Lord truly if we're bot listening to
His Word attentively. We listen so that we might worship.
proclamation of peace with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
(Romans 5:1) must be carefully dissociated from a proclamation which
says, "'Peace, peace', when there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14; Jeremiah
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you" (Isaiah 60:1). * Let the light of Christ shine. * Let the words of Scripture lead to thoughts of the Saviour. * In Christ, we are called to salvation, sanctification and service. * Be wise – worship the Saviour. Is 60:1-6; Ps 72:1-7,10-14; Eph 3:1-12; Mt 2:1-12
Because of our sin, we
are under the judgment of God. Christ has taken
our judgment that we might receive His salvation. In the Lord’s Supper,
we have a great reminder of this. Christ drank from the cup of our
condemnation that we might drink from the cup of His salvation. This is
amazing grace, reaching out to us. What
we do with this grace, which is so freely offered to us in Christ, is a
matter of eternal significance. May God, in this generation where
there is so much unbelief, bring many people to heed the words of the
Prophet Isaiah: “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while
He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his
thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and
to our God, for He will freely pardon.” These great words of grace are
followed by some words which tell us how amazing this grace is: “‘For
My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways’,
declares the Lord. ‘As t…
Isaiah 54:1-17‘The Lord’ is not only ‘the Holy One of Israel’. He is ‘the God of the whole earth’ (Isaiah 54:5).
The Gospel is for ‘all nations’. The ministry of Christ’s apostles
began in ‘Jerusalem’, but it did not end there. The Gospel was to be
taken ‘to the ends of the earth’ (Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8).
Taking the Gospel out from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth was not
easy. The apostles faced much opposition. They stood upon God’s
promise: ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper’ (Isaiah 54:17). When we face opposition, we must take our stand on the Word of God: ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31).
Even when our words seem to fall on stony ground, we must keep on
speaking the Word of God’s love: ‘With everlasting love I will have
compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer’ (Isaiah 54:8).
We thank You, Lord, that Your love is always reaching out to us,
calling us back from wandering away from You. Whatever our past has
been, help us to make a new beginning with You. In Your great love, give
us the hope for the future which comes from knowing that the sin of the
past has been forgiven and forgotten.
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty" (Isaiah 6:3); "Your sins are forgiven" (Isaiah 6:7). "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of them" (1 Timothy 1:15). --- Awesome holiness: It was my sin which sent Christ to the Cross. Amazing love: Christ has taken my sin to the Cross. I receive His forgiveness.
“I will sing for the one I love” (Isaiah 5:1).
Isaiah speaks here of our love for God. When we speak of our love for
God, we must always remember this: God’s love for us comes before our
love for Him. We sing to the One who has loved us. The song we sing to
Him is the song of love: “Loving Him who first loved me.” Lord,
we sing a song of love. We sing about the best love of all - Your love
for us. There is no love like Your love. It's the greatest love of
all. It's Your love for us that inspires our love for You. Our love for
You grows strong when we think less about our love for You - and more
about Your love for us.
"Come, let’s sing joyfully to the Lord. Let’s shout happily to the rock of our salvation" (Psalm 95:1).We are to worship the Lord with joy. We are to happy with him, in him and for him. (a) Be happy with the Lord.He is all that we need - "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1). (b) Be happy in the Lord.
Where do we find true happiness? We find it in the Lord. We do not set
out to find happiness. We find happiness when we find the Lord.(c) Be happy for the Lord. Let us share our happiness.May God help us to live for him - with joy.
know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added
to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere
him" (Ecclesiastes 3:14). God's salvation - It's a permanent salvation: it "will endure forever"; - It's a complete salvation: "nothing can be added to it"; - It's a secure salvation: "nothing" can be "taken from it"; - It's a salvation which leads to worship: "so that men will revere Him."
of people are we to be? What kind of life are we to live? Lord, You're
calling us to live a life of "love" (Proverbs 17:9). How, Lord, do we
learn what love is? - We learn from You. You show us what love is -
"God so loved the world that He gave His only Son ... " (John 3:16). In
Jesus, we see perfect love - "The Son of God loved me and gave Himself
for me" (Galatians 2:20). The Holy Spirit fills our lives with Your
love - "The fruit of the Spirit is love" (Galatians 5:22). Help us,
Lord, to live a Godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled life - a life of love.
"He that winneth souls is wise" (Proverbs 11:30). Be wise. Win souls. "Those
are the best educated ministers, who win the most souls" (Charles
Finney) - It is estimated that over 250,000 souls were converted as the
result of Finney's preaching! "Those who are wise will shine like
the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness,
like the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3).
"Trust the Lord with all your heart,and do not rely on your own understanding ... Blessed is the one who finds wisdomand the one who obtains understanding" (Proverbs 3:5, 13).
understanding of what our life really means - this isn't something that
comes from within ourselves. It is given to us by the Lord. The first
thing we must learn to do is this: Trust the Lord. He knows what our
life is all about. When we don't understand what's going on, may we
learn to trust Him.
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). Chr…
The world sings its songs. They do not sing the song of the Lord. There
is a song which can only be sung by those who have been saved by the
Lord. It is "a new song." It is the song of "salvation." Saved by the
Lord, we sing to Him our song of "thanksgiving." We think of what the
Lord has done for us and we say, "Praise the Lord!" (Psalm 149:1). "Let Israel find joy in her Creator" (Psalm 149:2). We do not create our own joy. Joy is given to us by the Lord.