Charles’s quotes


"It is surely ours to combine these elements of mourning for sin and joy in our salvation in one complex and composite experience which keeps us perpetually humble and yet perpetually joyful too."— Rev William Still

Thursday, 31 August 2017

The battle between the truth of God and the lies of the devil ...

"Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the Word of the Lord!" (Ezekiel 13:2)

The battle between the truth of God and the lies of the devil - It's been going on for a long time, and it keeps on going on and on. There will come a time when the devil will be completely defeated (Revelation 20:10) - but that time is not yet. For now, the devil "is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short " (Revelation 12:12). While, we affirm, by faith, the Lord's final victory over the devil, we must not, while we are here on earth, take the devil lightly. He's working overtime, desperately trying to draw people away from the Lord. Those who know the Lord must never forget this. The world may close its ears to the Word of the Lord, but we must keep on saying, "Hear the Word of the Lord." Take away the Word of the Lord, and things will only get worse and worse. Without the Word of the Lord, people will never be brought to the Saviour. Let us keep on speaking the Word of the Lord, and let us keep on praying that people will come to Christ and be saved. 
 

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Looking beyond the lovely sunsets ...


In Luke 12:54-56, Jesus speaks to people who were good at weather forecasting, but they weren't so good at understanding and living in the light of God's Word.
_____ 

Over the past few weeks, we have seen some lovely sunsets. They’ve  often brought to mind the well-known words: “A red sky at night is the shepherd’s delight. A red sky in the morning is the shepherd’s warning.” As I thought about the sun, my thoughts  turned to the Son. As I thought about the shepherds, my thoughts turned to the Shepherd.

We read, in Ecclesiastes 1:9, that there is nothing new under the sun. We ask, “Is there anything new?” Yes! There is. Beyond the sun, there is the Son - Jesus Christ the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Saviour. Jesus comes to us from above. He is “the Man from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47). He has come to earth for us: “God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son” (John 3:16). His love is brighter than the brightness of the sun.

We read the words of Ecclesiastes 1:5 - “The sun rises and the sun sets. Our thoughts turn to the Son who rises and never sets. We remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8), and we rejoice in this: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Our world will come to an end, but this will not be the end of our Saviour - “the end will come, when He hands over the Kingdom to God the Father” (1 Corinthians 15:24), and it will not be the end for us: “everyone who believes in the Son has everlasting life” (John 3:16).

We hear about the shepherd’s delight and the shepherd’s warning, and our thoughts move beyond the human shepherds to the divine Shepherd: “The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1). The shepherd takes delight in the red sky at night, and the Lord takes delight in His Son, Jesus Christ: “This is My beloved Son. With Him, I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). He calls on us to listen to Jesus: “This is My beloved Son … Listen to Him” (Matthew 17:5).

When we listen to the Lord. We hear Him speaking to us. He speaks to us of His love. What love the Lord has for us! It’s the greatest love of all. It’s the best love. The Lord loves us. There’s no better love than this. No human love can even begin to compare with the love of the Lord. The Lord “loves us with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). “His love never comes to an end” (Lamentations 3:22).  In every one of its twenty-six verses, Psalm 136 tells us that “His love is eternal.” How wonderful this is! - “His love is eternal.” Say it when you’re having a good day, say it when you’re having a bad day, say it every day - “His love is eternal.”

As well as the red sky at night and the shepherd’s delight, there is also the shepherd’s warning. The Shepherd of love speaks to us concerning His great salvation. He calls us to come to Him and receive His great salvation. He speaks to us His word of warning. It’s “the Shepherd’s warning”: “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).

Jesus speaks to us the Good News of God’s love: “God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son … God sent His Son into the world so that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16-17). Jesus’ words of love are a call to faith. To “everyone who believes in Him”, He gives His wonderful promise of “eternal life” (John 3:16). We must not, however, forget His words of warning: “anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God” (John 3:18).

His words of warning come to us as part of the call of His love. In love, He’s calling us to come back to Him. He’s calling us to make a new beginning with Him - to join Him on a journey with a happy ending. It will not be an easy journey - especially when we watch many other people turning back from following Jesus. Even when few people are joining us on this great journey of faith, let us be assured of this: Jesus will be with us every step of the way. In life’s stormy weather (red sky in the morning) and its sunny weather (red sky at night), our Saviour will keep on loving us and guiding us towards our glorious and heavenly destination.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Sin lives in me ... and Christ lives in me.

In Romans 7:20, Paul speaks about "sin living in me." - That was true  of Paul - and it's also true of every one of us.
In Galatians 2:20, Paul speaks about "Christ living in me." - That was true of Paul - and it's also t
true of every believer.
What we are, in ourselves, is one thing. What we are, by God's grace, is something very different - and very much better.
"Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:25). By the grace of God, this was the testimony of the Apostle Paul. By grace, it can be our testimony too.
Like Paul, we remain deeply conscious of our sin.We will never cease to be sinners - but we can, by grace, become sinners who are learning, more and more, what it means to be saved by the Lord, to belong to the Lord and to bring glory to the Lord.  

Monday, 28 August 2017

Turn your eyes upon Jesus ...

"Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your Word." (Psalm 119:37)

What matters most to you - the things of this world or the new life in Christ? In our hearts, we know that there is really no contest, bu, sadly, we, very often, take our eyes off Jesus, and the things of this world become more important to us than they should be. Day-by-day, the Lord is calling us to renew our commitment to Him - "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

Where did the name 'Jesus' come from?

"On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, He was named Jesus, the name the angel had given Him before He was conceived." (Luke 2:21)

Where did the name 'Jesus' come from? Was this name chosen by Mary? Did Joseph have a say in the choice of the baby's name? No! This was nothing to do with Mary and Joseph. The name was given by God. It's no ordinary name. It was never a case of "the name could have been this or it could have been that." There was never a question of "should we have given him a different name?" The name 'Jesus' means 'Saviour' - and that's exactly what Jesus is: our Saviour.

Have we Really Outgrown God?

“Ask the former generation
    and find out what their ancestors learned,
for we were born only yesterday and know nothing,
    and our days on earth are but a shadow.
10 Will they not instruct you and tell you?
    Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?" (Job 8:8-10)


These words were spoken to Job by Bildad the Shuhite. Without commenting on all that Bildad said to Job, we may ask, "What is he saying to us here?" He's telling us that we can learn from the past. This doesn't mean that we should be locked in the past. There are many things about life in today's world that are better than life was in the past. Many things, but not all things! - In the things that really matter most, we can still learn a great deal from those who went before us. The question we must always ask ourselves is this, "Have we really outgrown God?" That's still an important question that our "ancestors" put to us. We will be wise if we listen to them!

How Great Is The Love Of God For Us!

"Lord my God, you are very great" (Psalm 104:1).

The greatness of God is very different from the greatness of men. The greatness of men fades. The greatness of God never fades. God is great. His love is great. He has great compassion in His heart. He cares about us. This is what we must always remember. This is something we must never forget.

From Our Ancestors To Our Saviour

"I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way" (Acts 24:14)

We look back to the Old Testament. We follow on from the Old Testament. We follow Jesus - "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6). The Old Testament points us towards Jesus. It ends with prophecies that await their fulfilment in Jesus. We read the Old Testament. We learn from the Old Testament - especially when we learn to see Christ "in all the Scriptures" (Luke 24:27).  

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

On Our Way To Glory

"But He brought his people out like a flock;   He led them like sheep through the wilderness." (Psalm 78:52)

The Lord has done wonderful things for us! Beyond the land of bondage and oppression, there was the wilderness, and beyond the wilderness, there was the promised land. Let's never think that the Lord will leave us in the wilderness. He leads us through the wilderness. He doesn't take us into the wilderness - to leave us there. We're passing through the wilderness. We're on the move. We're pressing on to the better things. It's the Lord who's doing this for us. He always sees beyond the place where we are right now. He has His eyes on the future. It's a great future. It's the future He's planning for us. We may be in the wilderness - but we're not stuck in the wilderness. We're on our way to glory - heavenly and eternal glory, the glory of the eternal God, our loving, heavenly Father.

Can I be happy again?

"Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath;    my eyes will never see happiness again." (Job 7:7)

"My eyes will never see happiness again" - What are we to do when we feel like this? We are to tell God about it - "Remember, O God." There are times when we feel like God has forgotten about us. He hasn't! He still remembers us.How do we know that He remembers us? He gave His Son, Jesus, to die for us. We ask, "Can I be happy again?" God says to us, "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead" (2 Timothy 2:8). The resurrection of Jesus Christ - this is where our true and lasting joy comes from.   

The Greatest Love

"The Lord is compassionate and gracious,    slow to anger, abounding in love." (Psalm 103:8)

God is so much greater than we are. His love for us is so much greater than our love for Him. His love is a perfect love. It's the only perfect love. There is no love like the love of the Lord. Nothing can eveer compare with His love. His love is abundant love. It's superabundant love. In love, the Lord reaches out to us - even we have no thought of reaching out to Him. He doesn't stop loving us when we're having a bad day. He keeps on loving us - all day, every day. Such amazing love, such wonderful love - it can only come from Him; it can never come from us. Think of how much the Lord loves you - and thank Him for His love.  

Generation Gap?

"But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever;    your renown endures through all generations." (Psalm 102:12)
 We hear a great deal about the generation gap. The old people don't understand the young people. The young people don't listen to the old people. How can we overcome this generation gap. Jesus Christ overcomes the generation gap. He is "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). When old and young are united in Christ, the gap does not seem to be so wide at all. The gap between God and humanity - old and young - has been bridged by Jesus Christ, our Saviour. In Him, we rejoice. We give thanks that He has brought us together. We are no longer the old and the young, set over against each other. There  may be many differences between the old and the young - but, in the things that really matter, we belong together because, we, both, belong to Christ.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Power From On High

"I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
Jesus was preparing his disciples for the future. It would be an exciting future. It would be a demanding future. It would be a future filled with God's blessing. The blessing would not come easily. There would be many battles. Jesus is preparing them for battle. He's saying to them, 'You won't be on your own. I'll be with you - every step of the way.' Jesus empowered them. He empowers us. The Holy Spirit came to them. The Holy Spirit comes to us. He comes with power. This is more than human power. It's the power of God. 

Can God? - Yes. God can - and He does!

"They spoke against God;
    they said, “Can God really
    spread a table in the wilderness?" (Psalm 78:19)
Can God ... ? - The question is asked in unbelief. God hears the unbelieving question, and He gives His answer. It is the answer of His grace.
"Yet he gave a command to the skies above
    and opened the doors of the heavens;
24 he rained down manna for the people to eat,
    he gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Human beings ate the bread of angels;
    he sent them all the food they could eat." (Psalm 78:23-25)

This is amazing grace. It is undeserved grace. It is grace that is freely given. We do not earn God's grace. It is given to us. Everything good in us comes from the Lord. It comes as a result of His love, reaching us and changing us. He overcomes our unbelief, He leads us out of unbelief and into faith. 

Wait on the Lord ...

The world says, "The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’?" (Ezekiel 12:22) 
This isn't something new. People were saying this to Ezekiel - a long time ago. 
What does the Lord say about this? - 'It shall be done. God will fulfil His promises.' Who are we to say, 'Too many days have gone by'? Who are we to say, 'The vision has come to nothing'?
Perhaps, when we're losing patience,. when we're ready to give up hope, God is trying to get our attention. He's wanting to tell us, 'Hold on a bit longer, and you will see the blessing, the blessing  will come, and you will be glad that you waited.'
 

Are the Scriptures more than the words of men? Are the Scriptures the Word of the Lord?

"What the Scriptures say must come true." (Mark 14:49)
Why? It's because the Scriptures come from God, and God is the God of truth. When God speaks, He speaks the truth. Whenever we are tempted to doubt the Scriptures, let's not forget that this means that we are questioning God. We are saying, "Has God really said?" This question takes us back to Genesis 3:1.  It is the question of unbelief. It comes from "that ancient serpent, the devil" (Revelation 12:9). What we say about the Scriptures - Are they to be trusted? or Can we set them aside as no longer relevant to today's world? - shows what we think of God - Has God revealed Himself to us? or Do we make up our own ideas about God, as we go along? Are the Scriptures more than the words of men? Are the Scriptures the Word of the Lord? Each of us must give our answer. It will be the answer of faith, or it will be the answer of unbelief. Will we listen to what the Scriptures say to us concerning Christ, our Saviour? or Will we stop reading the Scriptures, stop listening to the voice of Christ and stop trusting in His love for us? Each one of us must answer these questions for ourselves - every day of our life.

The Scriptures - Written a long time ago, written for today's world

"Let this be written for a future generation,    that a people not yet created may praise the Lord." (Psalm 102:18)
What was written, a long time ago, in the Scriptures, was written for us. That's not to say that we can jump easily from way back then to here-and-now. Often, it's difficult to see  the connections between there and then and here- and-now. If, however, we are to serve our generation for Jesus' sake, we must work hard at the challenging task of understanding the ancient Scriptures and uncovering the message that they have for today's world.

The everlasting God and His everlasting love

"Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God." (Psalm 90:2)

 "But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children" (Psalm 103:17)

In our world is there anything that is everlasting? We know the answer as soon as we ask the question. In this world, there is nothing that's everlasting. To find something that is everlasting, we need to look beyond this world - to the God who created the world. He is the everlasting God. When we look at Him, we see love, His love, His everlasting love. 

Life with Christ or life without Christ?

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
What a difference there is between wages and a gift! It's the difference between death and life. It's the difference between a life centred on ourselves and a life centred on Christ.  Life with Christ or life without Christ - each of must choose. Which will it be?

Pointing away from ourselves to Jesus - There is nothing more important than this.

"In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness." (Luke 3:1-2)
The big names were all bypassed. The Lord chose John. The big names were living he world's way. John lived the Lord's way. The big names were soon forgotten. They were not as important as they thought they were. John was more important than they were. Why? - Because he was God's man. The hand of the Lord was upon him. The Word of the Lord came to him. He spoke the Word of the Lord. He did not draw attention to himself. He pointed away from himself to Jesus. Pointing away from ourselves to Jesus - There is nothing more important than this. 
 

A prophet of the Most High ...

"And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1:76-79)
A prophet of the Most High - This is what John the Baptist was. He had a special ministry. He prepared the way for Jesus the Saviour. He didn't try to compete with Jesus the Saviour. When Jesus the Saviour appeared, John the Baptist stepped aside. This is the way it must be with us. we must not try to take any of the glory away from Jesus. We must give all the glory to Him.

Changed by God's love, changed by His holiness

"I will sing of your love and justice;
    to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
    when will you come to me?

I will conduct the affairs of my house
    with a blameless heart." (Psalm 101:1-2)
A blameless life? A blameless heart? This is not a picture of our life and our heart. We know that we have sinned against the Lord. We have let him down many times. A blameless life? A blameless heart? Is this is what we long for? It may be far beyond us, but we must keep on praying that the Lord will give us more of His holiness - in our lie, in our heart. Where will this holiness come from? It will come from the Lord's love for us. In love, He reaches out to us. In love, He changes us. In love, He makes us more like Himself - more loving, more holy. How is this progress towards love and holiness to begin. It begins with our confession of sin - 'I'm not as loving as I should be. I'm not as loving as I should be. I cannot make me myself more loving and more holy. I need You, Lord. I need your love. I need Your holiness. I need to be changed by Your love. I need to be changed by Your holiness."  

Holy, holy, holy ...

"Let them praise your great and awesome name—
    he is holy.

 Exalt the Lord our God
    and worship at his footstool;
    he is holy.

Exalt the Lord our God
    and worship at his holy mountain,
    for the Lord our God is holy." (Psalm 99:3,5,9)

Holy, holy, holy: The Lord is holy - the holy Father, the holy Saviour, the holy Spirit. We are to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The holiness doesn't come from ourselves. It's not something that we bring with us to our worship. The holiness comes from the Lord. He gives His holiness to us. It's His holy presence that brings holiness into our worship.


Sing to the Lord a new song ...

"Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him." (Psalm 98:1)
A new song - this is a song that wasn't in our hearts before we met the Lord, before we were saved by Him. It's the Lord who has pt this song into our hearts. The song of praise comes from Him - not from ourselves. We worship the Lord, giving thanks to Him for His great salvation. What marvellous things He has done for us. Praise the Lord - the great God, the God of our salvation.   

Don't continue in sin. Come to the Saviour.

To those who come to Him, the Lord Jesus says, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may … go through the gates into the city.”  Let us not remain “outside” of God’s Kingdom (Revelation 22:14-15).
There is a better way than continuing in sin. It is the way of coming to the Saviour and receiving from Him the forgiveness of sin, the power of a new life and the glorious hope of entering into the full glory of His heavenly and eternal Kingdom.

On a cloudy and dark day, the Lord is my light and my salvation.

" ... so will I seek out My sheep ... on a cloudy and dark day" (Ezekiel 34:12).
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).

At the heart of "the Holy City", there is Jesus Christ

"The Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God - It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel" (Revelation 21:10-11).
At the heart of "the Holy City", there is Jesus Christ. In Him, we see the bright shining light of God's love. He is the precious cornerstone upon which our eternal salvation is built (1 Peter 2:4-7).
As we read about "the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God" (Revelation 21:10), our thoughts turn to our Saviour, Jesus Christ. It's only because of what He has done for us that we will be welcomed into the glory of God's saving and eternal presence of love. Jesus is "the cornerstone" of our faith (1 Peter 2:6). He is the foundation upon which our salvation is built. Without Him, there is no salvation. With Him, there is full salvation. What light there is shining into our hearts - from the wonderful love of our Saviour. It's the light that comes from the glory of God. It has touched our life here on earth. It will fill our life with Him - when we go to be with Him in "the Holy City."

Sometimes, God speaks to us in words of warning!

In Ezekiel 12:11, we read about a "warning sign."
Sometimes, God speaks to us in words of warning! Here, the prophet speaks about things that "will happen" - "exile and captivity." We may need to be warned, "There will be hard times ahead of you. Get ready for them." We will also need to be warned against turning away from the Lord when the going gets tough. Why does the Lord speak to us his words of warning? It's because he loves us. it's because he wants to bless us. When the hard  times come, he doesn't wasn't us to be unprepared. He wants us to keep looking to him for his strength - and he assures us that when we do look to him, we will receive his strength. 

Enough! No more!

"the devil ... was thrown into the lake of fire ... " (Revelation 20:10).
The time will come when God will say to Satan, “Enough! No more!”

"I will remove their stubborn hearts and give them obedient hearts" (Ezekiel 11:19).

This is the miracle of the new birth . We cannot do this for ourselves. Only God can do this for us.

Temptation And Victory

Jesus was tempted. Jesus is victorious. He is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16) – and He’s at work in us, bringing us through temptation and into victory. We don’t live in constant victory. Often, we’re defeated. We need to learn to listen to God’s Word and be led into the pathway of victory. It’s a lifelong learning process. There’s never a time when our ‘education’ is complete. Throughout our life, we must keep on coming to the Lord, confessing our need of His cleansing and power and praying that He will make us more truly and more fully what He wants us to be – “Cleanse me from my sin, Lord. Put Thy power within, Lord. Take me as I am, Lord, and make me all Thine own. Keep me day by day, Lord, underneath Thy sway, Lord. Make my heart Thy palace, and Thy royal throne” (Mission Praise, 82).
May God bless each of us as we read His Word and learn to trust the Lord to give you victory over temptation.
“Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
each victory will help you some other to win;
fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
look ever to Jesus, he’ll carry you through.
Ask the Savior to help you,
comfort, strengthen and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.
Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God’s Name hold in reverence, nor take it in vain;
be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true,
look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.
To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown;
Through faith we shall conquer, though often cast down;
He Who is our Savior our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through."

Shining - Out from God's Word, into our hearts

"The brightness of the Lord's glory ... the sound of the Almighty God when He speaks" (Ezekiel 10:4-5)
The glory of the Lord has shone in our hearts. It is the glory that shines out from His Word.

The eternal love of God

"The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8): Before we had sinned, God was planning for our salvation!

Idolatry: What has taken the place of the Lord in our lives?

Ezekiel 8:3-18
"3 ... In these visions from God, the Spirit carried me between heaven and earth. He took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the temple. That was where an idol that stirs up God’s anger was located. There I saw the glory of Israel’s God as I did in the vision that I saw in the valley.
God said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked toward the north, and there in the entrance to the north gate beside the altar, I saw the idol that stirs up God’s anger.
He asked me, “Son of man, do you see what the people of Israel are doing? The people of Israel are doing very disgusting things here, things that will force me to go far away from my holy place. But you will see even more disgusting things.” ...
He said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked, disgusting things that the people of Israel are doing here.” 10 So I went in and looked. I saw that the walls were covered with drawings of every kind of crawling creature, every kind of disgusting animal, and all the idols in the nation of Israel. 11 In front of these drawings stood 70 of Israel’s leaders. Jaazaniah, son of Shaphan, was standing with the leaders. Each of them was holding an incense burner in his hand, and a cloud of incense went up.
12God asked me, “Son of man, do you see what the leaders of the nation of Israel are doing in secret? Each of them is in the room where his god is, and each one of them is thinking, ‘ The Lord has abandoned this land.’13 Then he said to me, “You will see even more disgusting things that they are doing.”
14 He brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the Lord’s temple. Women were sitting there and crying for the god Tammuz. 15 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this? You will see even more disgusting things than these.”
16 Then he brought me into the inner courtyard of the Lord’s temple. There at the entrance to the Lord’s temple, between the entrance and the altar, were about 25 men who had their backs turned to the Lord’s temple. They were facing east and worshiping the rising sun. 17 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this? Isn’t it bad enough that the people of Judah have done these disgusting things that you have seen here? Yet, they also fill the land with violence and continue to provoke me even more. Look how they insult me in the worst possible way. 18 So I will take action because I’m angry, and I won’t have compassion for them or feel sorry for them. Even if they shout in my ears, I won’t listen to them.”
Disgusting! What we have here is idolatry - false gods taking the place of the true God, dead idols taking the place of the living God. Is this just ancient history? What about today? What has taken the place of the Lord in our lives? Idolatry was a big problem - "70 of Israel's leaders" (Ezekiel 8:11)! These men were "the leaders of the nation of Israel" (Ezekiel 8:12). We may say, "They should have known better." They did know better! Why were they were worshipping false gods "in secret" (Ezekiel 8:12)? - They knew that they were doing wrong. They were trying to hide from the Lord. They were saying to themselves - "The Lord doesn’t see me" (Ezekiel 8:12). They were telling themselves, "The Lord has abandoned this land" (Ezekiel 8:12). They were thinking, "Now, we can do whatever we like." The situation was going from bad to worse - "25 men ... had the backs turned to the Lord's temple. They were facing east and worshipping the rising sun" (Ezekiel 8:16). Going from bad to worse - Is this just the story of ancient Israel? No! It's more than that. It's the story of today's world. Are the terrifying words of Ezekiel 8:17-18 only for the idolaters of Ezekiel's day? We would be very foolish if we imagined that we could do whatever we like and still expect God to look on us with favour. This is a solemn word of judgment. We must, however, ask, "Does God have anything else to say to us?"  In Ezekiel 8:3, we read about the place "where an idol that stirs up God’s anger was located." In Ezekiel 8:4, we read something else - "There I saw the glory of Israel’s God as I did in the vision that I saw in the valley." In our day, surrounded by so much that brings dishonour to the Name of the Lord, may we, like Ezekiel, catch a glimpse of the glory of God. May God help us to keep looking to Him while many others are turning their backs on Him. May He reveal His glory to us. May we be "changed into His image with ever-increasing glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18).

In Christ, we have the victory ...

In Christ, we have the victory: “they have conquered Satan by the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:7-12).
God is calling us beyond the conflict. He is calling us on to victory.
We don’t live in a perfect world. We’re not perfect people. We wish things could be different – but they’re not! Not yet! We pray, “Your Kingdom come” – but we’re still waiting for God’s complete answer to this prayer. The Book of Revelation provides us with a vision of God’s coming Kingdom. As we await His Kingdom, the words of Habakkuk 2:3 are very helpful to us: “the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
* There is conflict with the world.
We commit ourselves to living for Jesus Christ. There are plenty of other people who don’t want to have anything to do with Him. This is something we must live with. “We do not lose heart” when we face opposition. We give thanks that “God’s mercy” has reached us, bringing to us the forgiveness of all our sins and giving to us the great privilege of being Christ’s witnesses in this sinful world (2 Corinthians 4:1).
* There is conflict within ourselves.
Though we have committed ourselves to Christ, we are deeply conscious that we do not serve Him as well as we should. Our problems do not always come from the world around us. Often, we create problems for ourselves. There is too much of self and not enough of Christ in our lives. He has given Himself for us. How much have we given ourselves to Him?
* God is calling us beyond the conflict.
“Just as I am, though tossed about, with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings within, and fears without, O Lamb of God, I come.”
The conflict, the doubt, the fightings, the fears – these things don’t just disappear. Satan makes sure of that! As we look to the Lord, we receive His strength. He enables to say from the heart, “I will praise You, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:1-2). These words take us to a ‘high’ place – but we are quickly reminded that there is also a ‘low’ place. Psalm 9:3 begins with the ominous words, “My enemies”!
Beyond those whom the Psalmist describes as “my enemies, there is another enemy – Satan! As we read Psalm 9:3-6, we must catch a glimpse of the final defeat of Satan. Here on earth, we face conflict. Our life in Christ isn’t an easy life. Satan sees to that!
Ephesians 6:12 tells us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against … the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This is something we must never forget.
Revelation 12:9-10 tells us while Satan may be very powerful, he is less powerful than Christ. The victory does not belong with Satan. It belongs with Christ.
“The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”
How does this victory become ours? – “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11).
The victory is not easily won. It was very costly for Christ. He went to the Cross to win for us the victory over Satan. Revelation 12:12 reminds us that it will be very costly for us – “the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
Whatever the devil may be doing – in the world and in his attacks upon ourselves, may us learn to say from the heart, “I will praise You, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:1-2).

"The Spirit lifted me" (Ezekiel 3:12,14).

The Spirit speaks God's Word to us, and He gives God's power to us. Through God's Word, the Spirit reaches us. Through God's power, the Spirit changes us.

Troubled World, Tremendous Worship

Christ invites us to ‘come’ (6:1,3,5,7) - and look at things through His eyes. With Him, we look at earth. With Him, we look at heaven. Troubled world, tremendous worship - These are the things we see when we look through the eyes of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our world is deeply troubled. Heaven’s worship is absolutely tremendous. Of all our many ‘troubles’, the greatest is this: We are sinners, and none of us ‘can stand’ before ‘the face of Him who sits on the throne’. Our earthly ‘troubles’ are nothing compared with this! There is hope. There is a way of ‘salvation’. We can be saved through ‘the blood of the Lamb’. If, however, we turn from Him - ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ - there will be no hope. We will face ‘the wrath of the Lamb’ (4:16-17; 5:10,14; John 1:29). Will you be saved - or lost?

The Spirit And The Word

"As He spoke to me, the Spirit entered me, stood me on my feet, and I heard Him speaking to me" (Ezekiel 2:2).
If we are to stand in Christ, we need both the Spirit and the Word - not the Spirit without the Word, not the Word without the Spirit.
"As I looked, I saw a hand stretched out toward me. In it was a scroll. He spread the scroll in front of me. There was writing on the front and back. There were funeral songs, songs of mourning, and horrible things written on it" (Ezekiel 2:9-10).
"funeral songs, songs of mourning, and horrible things" - Sometimes, there are things that we don't want to hear, but we need to hear them. It may cause us pain to listen to some of the things that God's Word says to us - but, as we listen to His Word, we will find that it brings healing to our hurting hearts.
"Your wounds are as deep as. the sea. Who can heal you?" (Ezekiel 2:13).
There's only one answer to this question - the Lord. Other people can help us - if they point away from themselves to the Lord, if they say to us, 'You need more than the help i can give to you. You need Jesus.'

Visions From God

" ... the sky opened, and I saw visions from God ... The power of the Lord came over Ezekiel" (Ezekiel 1:1-2).
Where does revelation come from? Does it come from us? Is it something that we discover? No! It comes from above. It comes from heaven. It comes from the Lord. It is given to us. It is the gift of  His grace. Revelation comes to us - but it doesn't begin with us. It begins with God. We see things differently - when our eyes are opened by the Lord. No glory belongs to us. All the glory belongs to the Lord. We dare not say, "Look  at what I have discovered." All we can say is this, ""To God be the glory! Great things He has done."

Singers From Every Nation And Every Generation

The singers will come “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). 
Not just some nations! All nations! Not just this generation! Not just the “now” generation! Every generation will be there. They will come from the past. They will come from the future. This is bigger than the Eurovision Song Contest!
“They sang a new song” (Revelation 5:9). 
When does a “new song” become an old song? – People stop singing it. They forget about it. It becomes last year’s song.
What about God’s “new song”? Does it ever become yesterday’s song? Will there ever be a time when there is no-one to sing the song of salvation? Will the song of praise ever be silenced? Will it ever be thrown into the dustbin of the ancient past?
No! The song of joyful worship is always the song of the eternal future. We’re looking forward to something that’s far bigger, brighter and better than the Eurovision Song Contest!

"Great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22).

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 Timothy 1:14-17).

"Look, I'm standing at the door ... " (Revelation 3:20).

Are you ‘looking for a better country - a heavenly one’ (Hebrews 11:16)? ‘God has put eternity into man’s mind’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). In every human heart, there’s ‘a God-shaped blank’. Jesus came to give us ‘life’ - ‘abundant life’, ‘eternal life’ (John 10:10; John 17:3; 1 John 5:11). Without Jesus, our lives are empty. The ‘longing for a better country’ can only be satisfied by Him. He is God’s ‘foretaste of glory divine’ (Mission Praise, 59). Jesus stands at the door of every human heart. He knocks. He waits for our answer. He says, ‘Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to My voice and opens the door, I’ll come in...’ (Revelation 3:20). Don’t ‘shrink back’ (Hebrews 10:39). Invite Him into your heart now.

"Is there any word from the Lord?" (Jeremiah 37:17).

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 Lord."
It's not our place to say what the Word of God should say to us and what it should not say to us. Our response must always be, "Let it be to me according to Your Word" (Luke 1:38);  "Your Word is truth" (John 17:17).
We're not to set up as those who have the right to keep on asking the Satanic question: "Did God really say?" We're to bow before the Word of the Lord, which says to us, "This was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven" (Matthew 16:17).
We must take care that we don't get drawn into the way of the foolish man who builds his life upon the shifting sands of human opinion. There is a better way than that. It's the way of the wise man who builds his life on God's revelation:  "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock" (Matthew 7:24).

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).

"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 still He draws near to us.
The Lord is at work in our hearts. He is bringing us ‘to our senses’. He is reminding us of His love. He is drawing us back to Himself. In love, He is calling us home again. He is speaking to our hearts. He is saying to us, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3).
As His love reaches our hearts, ‘the prodigal son’ becomes ‘the returning son’: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son’. ‘Bring me back, let me come back, for you are the Lord my God!’(Jeremiah 31:18).
Where do God’s peace and joy come from? They come from His love. It’s the greatest love of all (Ephesians 3:18). There’s nothing like the love of God. His peace is great. His joy is great. His love is even greater. This is where His blessing comes from. He loves us. He loves us with “an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). It’s a love that will not let us go. It’s a love that goes on forever. When we say, “May God’s blessing surround you each day”, what we’re saying is this: May you know that God loves you; may you know that He’s never going to stop loving you; may you know the blessing of His love.
_________________

More Than Head-Knowledge

"Your father ... defended the cause of the poor and needy ... Isn't this what it means to know me? asks the Lord" (Jeremiah 22:15-16).  

True knowledge of God is more than head-knowledge. It changes the way we live.

Deceived by the deceiver, set free by the Saviour

"The heart is deceitful" (Jeremiah 17:9).  

We have been deceived by the deceiver - Satan. Christ sets us free by His truth (John 8:32-36).

"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 Lord in the light of His Word, always paying close attention to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who says to us, "The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63).  

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me ...

In Jeremiah 18:5-6, we read about the potter and the clay - "The Lord spoke his word to me. The Lord asked, “Nation of Israel, can’t I do with you as this potter does with clay? Nation of Israel, you are like the clay in the potter’s hands."

When we read these words, let's pray, "Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me." Let's pray that the Spirit of the Lord will give us the strength that we need to respond to God's call to return to him and live for him - "Turn from your evil ways, change your lives, and do good" (Jeremiah 18:11). 

Love For God Is More Than Love For His House.

" ... Will you ... come and stand before Me in this house, which bears My Name, and say, We are safe" - safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears My Name become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 7:8-11).

We must take care that our love for God's house doesn't become more important to us than our love for God. Love for God's house won't change the way we live - if there's no real love for God in our hearts.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Do not trust in deceptive words ...

"Do 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.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Listen to the Lord's Word ...

"Listen to the Lord's Word, all you people of Judah who go through these gates to worship the Lord" (Jeremiah 7:2).
We 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.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Problem, the Returning, the Blessing (James 5:19-20)

The Problem - "if one of you should wander from the truth"
The Returning - "if ... someone should bring him back"
The Blessing - "Whoever turns a sinner away from his error will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins."
Does God have a message of hope for those who have wandered away from Him? - Yes!
He speaks with truth concerning our sin, and He speaks with love concerning His salvation.
"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" (Isaiah 55:6-7).
What blessing is given to those who return to the Lord!
There was sin and guilt. Now, there is the forgiveness of sin.
There was death.  Now, there is life: new life - life with a new sense of meaning, purpose and direction; eternal life - life with the Lord in the everlasting glory of His everlasting Kingdom.

Peace with God

The 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 8:11).

Turning "a sinner from the error of his way"

"My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins" (James 5:19-20).
It is a great thing to rejoice in God's salvation. We give thanks for the truth upon which our salvation rests. As well as rejoicing in God's salvation and standing upon His truth, we must also speak directly to those who have wandered from the truth, calling upon them to turn from the error of their ways.
Turning "a sinner from the error of his way" - we don't hear much of this kind of talk nowadays. People like to hear the Good News of salvation. They like to be assured of the truth of God's Word. If, however, our teaching regarding the Good News of salvation and the truth of God's Word are to have real depth, we must speak forthrightly about turning "a sinner from the error of his way."
* Speaking about our "multitude of sins" - this is not to be dismissed as a purely negative reaction against the easy-going outlook of so many people in today's world. There is something much more positive than that - we speak about our sin so that we might learn to glory in God's salvation.
* Speaking about "the error of our way" - this is not be dismissed as a 'know-it-all' attitude by which we 'look down our noses' at the 'anything goes' approach that is so common in today's world. There's something much more positive here - following our Saviour, we warn against the folly of building on a foundation of shifting sand so that we might learn to build our life upon the Solid Rock: Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:24-27;  1 Corinthians 3:11).
* Speaking about "death" - this is not be dismissed as out-of-touch with the positive outlook of today's world. Once again, there is something very positive here. We emphasize that "the wages of sin is death" so that there might be a greater appreciation of "the gift of God" which is "eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
--
Why do we speak of sin, error and death?
- We speak of sin so that people may be called back from the way of sin to a much better way  - the way of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, our Saviour: "He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God through Him" (Hebrews 7:25).
- We speak of error so that people may be called back from the way of error to a much more reliable way than the way of error - the way of truth, trusting in Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6).
- We speak of death so that people may be called back from the way of death to the much more wonderful way that God has planned for all who put their faith in His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ - the way of eternal life: "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life" (1 John 5:11-12).

Truth in our teaching, truth in our living

"Lord, Your eyes look for the truth" (Jeremiah 5:3).

God is looking for more than truth in our teaching. He's looking for truth in our living.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

A call to pray, a call to seek God's glory

“You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2) - This is a call to prayer.
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3) - This is a call to seek God's glory.

The Spirit of the Almighty Lord is with me ...

"The Spirit of the Almighty Lord is with me
    because the Lord has anointed me
        to deliver good news to humble people.
    He has sent me
        to heal those who are brokenhearted,
        to announce that captives will be set free
            and prisoners will be released" (Isaiah 61:1).

These words were spoken by Isaiah. They were spoken by Jesus. May they also be our words.  

Friday, 11 August 2017

Arise, shine ...

"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

Jesus Is Calling Us On To His Future.


Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is not merely a figure from the past. He is “Jesus Christ, risen from the dead” (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus Christ, the risen Saviour, the living Lord, stands at the centre of our future. He does not only speak to us from the past. He also speaks to us from the future. What is He saying to us? How will He affect our present way of living? Jesus speaks to us from the future. He calls us on to heaven, but He does not turn us into dreamers who are so “heavenly-minded” that we’re not learning to serve the Lord right now. We sing of our heavenly hope: “On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise, and the glory of His resurrection share; when His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies, and the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.” What is to be our present response to this glorious hope? - “Let us labour for the Master from the dawn till setting sun. Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care. Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done, and the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.”

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Praying Through God's Word: New Testament

Lord, we’ve only just begun – to experience Your love and enjoy Your blessing. We’ve started out on the journey of faith – but we haven’t reached our destination. We’re still travelling. We dare not stand still. We must keep on going forward – with You and for You. Sometimes, we can forget where we’re going – and we can forget how to get there. Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus – He will lead us on to the glory of heaven.
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is “Emmanuel … God with us” (Matthew 1:23). “He walked where we walk. He stood where we stand, He felt what we feel. He understands. He knows our frailty. He shared our humanity. He was tempted in every way – yet without sin. He is God with us. he is so close to us. He died in our place that we might live” (Graham Kendrick). As we think of Jesus, Your perfect Son, our perfect Saviour, may our hearts be filled with worship. May our songs of praise give glory to Your great Name, the Name of our salvation.
Lord, help us to stand upon the truth of Your Word – not to collapse under the lies of the devil. When Your Word says, ‘This is what the Lord has done’, who are we to say, ‘Is this really what You have done?’ Talk like that doesn’t come from You, Lord. It comes from our enemy, Your enemy – the devil. When the devil attacks us – sowing seeds of unbelief, help us to take our stand against him. Help us to triumph over him by the power of Your Word.
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus – “the king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2) – is the “King of kings” (Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16). Help us to “worship Him” (Matthew 2:3). Help us to “kneel before the King”, to “sing His praise”, to sing “Hallelujah to the King … our King of salvation, Master of the universe, King of all creation” (Gary McSpadden).
Lord, give us wisdom. How do we receive wisdom? – We receive Jesus. He is ‘our wisdom’ (1 Corinthians 1:30). What is the wisdom we receive from Jesus? – It is ‘salvation’ (2 Timothy 3:15). Jesus is our Saviour. Lord, give us more wisdom. Give us more of Jesus. Help us to get to know Him more-and-more each day. Give to us the knowledge of Jesus, which is our salvation – knowing Him as our Saviour, knowing His power to save, His power to bring us out of our darkness and into His light.
Lord, help us to worship You – not just to make big promises – ‘We will worship You’, and then forget all about these big promises! Worship is about putting You first. It’s about keeping You at the centre of our life. It’s about more than ‘going to church’ – more than ‘an hour on a Sunday.’ It’s about giving ourselves to You. It’s about living for You – our whole life becoming a song of praise to You. Lord, help us to worship You.
Lord, we thank You for Jesus – risen from the dead, and living in us! We remember Jesus’ resurrection – and we give thanks with great joy. We think of Jesus, living in us – and we’re learning to live each day in His power. Through Your power, Jesus came from death to life. Through His risen power, we leave behind what we once where and we become what You call us to be.
Lord, You are more important than we are. We serve You. You save us. We preach – but we cannot save! It’s only You who can save. May we never forget that, without You, we are nothing and we can do nothing – nothing of any lasting value, nothing that will really count for eternity. If we are to achieve anything in Your service, it will only be when You are working in us and through us.
Lord, we thank You for your perfect plan of salvation. We thank You for the perfect obedience Jesus offered to You. We thank You for the perfect sacrifice Jesus made for us. Perfect – That’s the last word we would use to describe ourselves. We’re anything but perfect. We’re very far from being perfect. We thank You, lord, that You’re so very different from us: You’re the perfect God, Your Son is the perfect Saviour and Your salvation is the perfect salvation.
Lord, when we are tempted, help us to remember Jesus. He was tempted – but He was not defeated. He was not defeated – He was victorious. How did Jesus win the victory? How can we win the victory? Jesus took His stand upon Your Word. This is the way Jesus went. This is the way we must go. It’s the way of Your Word. It’s the way of victory. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. In Him, we have the victory.
Lord, help us not to lower our guard. There are times when it seems like Satan is leaving us alone. Soon, it will change – He’ll be back again, and he’ll be more determined than ever. When Satan seems to be such a determined enemy, help us to remind him that he’s also a defeated enemy. When Satan comes to us, help us to be ready for him. Help us to face him in the all-victorious name and the all-conquering power of Jesus.
Lord, we thank You for Jesus, our Team Leader. Before the call to leadership, there’s the call to be led by the greatest Team Leader of all – Jesus. Jesus calls us to follow Him – to walk in His footsteps. It’s not about saying, “Jesus is our Team leader”, and then doing our own thing. It’s about following Him. It’s about praying, ‘Your will be done.’ Lord, help us to follow Jesus. Help us to look at how He lived – and to become more like Him.
Lord, give us Your strength. Help us not only to be strong in ourselves. Help us to be strong for others. Give to us teaching from Your Word – and help us not to keep it to ourselves. May Your Word give us strength – the strength that we need to pass Your Word on to others.
Lord, help us to live for You. Help us to become more like Jesus. We look at Jesus – and we see that He is so far ahead of us on the pathway of holiness. We look at Him – and we see how much He loves us. We see how much He is committed to leading us to walk more closely with You on the pathway of holiness.
Lord, help us to bring Your light into our dark world. How are we to do this? We begin by letting Your light shine upon ourselves. The light that shines into our own hearts is the light which will shine out from us to others. Lord, let Your light shine.
Lord, help us to be true. We are surrounded by so much that is false – and we see it in ourselves as well. Lord, deliver us from hypocrisy. When it keeps on rearing its ugly head – even in very subtle ways! – , help us to renew our commitment to living a life that is being shaped by Your truth, a life of following Jesus.
Lord, help us to open our hearts to You. We look into ourselves – and we are not pleased with what we see. We need a new heart – a heart filled with Your holiness and Your love. We need Christ, living in us. We need Christ, changing us, making us like Himself.
Lord, fill us with Your love. Our love is always less than it should be. Your love for us is always the greatest love of all. There is no love like Your love for us. Help us, Lord, to appreciate Your love for us. Help us to be changed by Your love for us.
Lift us, O Lord, out of our hypocrisy and into Your holiness. Help us to be real – people who are wholehearted in our love for You, people whose lives are centred on Christ, people who are learning to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, we feel the pressure of the world bearing down upon us – “the world is ever near me … around me and within.” When we feel like this, help us to pray, “Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.” In all of our testing and trying times, may we know that we are “kept by the power of God.” Help us, when we are sorely tempted, to know that You are leading us on to Your full “salvation. Help us to see that our sufferings are nothing compared with Your salvation. Help us to “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:5-9).
Lord, teach us to pray. Help us not to say one thing and do another. Help us not only to pray, “Your will be done.” Help us to do Your will.
Lord, help us to build our lives on Christ. All around us, there is shifting sand. It’s not only shifting sand. It’s sinking sand. Without Christ, we will sink without trace. He alone is the Solid Rock. He’s the Rock of our salvation. Help us to build on Him.
Lord, make us clean. In ourselves, we are not clean. In ourselves, we will never be clean. We are never any more than sinners. We need to be cleansed – and You alone can do this for us. May the precious blood of Jesus cleanse us from all sin.
Lord, help us to follow Jesus. How are we to follow Jesus – when we face so many temptations to wander away from You, to wander off into a life of sin and shame? Lord, You alone can keep us from falling away from You. You alone can keep us walking with You. Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus. Help us to keep on following Him.
Lord, help us to become more like Jesus – “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me … ” (Luke 4:18-19). Without Your Spirit, we can do nothing for You. We try and try and try … but we achieve nothing. It’s not by our trying that Your work is done. It’s by Your power that Your work moves forward. Lead us forward with You and for You. Lead us forward in Your power.
Lord, give us Your Word. May it be the Word of Your Spirit, speaking through us. Fill us with Your Word. Fill us with Your Spirit. Lead us out of the emptiness of life without You. Lead us into the fullness of life which comes to us when we receive the love of Jesus, when we rejoice in His victory, when we are renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, teach us Your way. Walking in Your way is never easy. There are so many obstacles. They stop us in our tracks. They make us feel like giving up – until Jesus comes alongside us. He comes to us and He says to us, “You’re not alone. I am with you – now and always.” Lord, help us to look beyond our many problems and difficulties. Help us to look to Jesus. Help us to hear His Word of encouragement. Help us to exchange our weakness for His strength (Isaiah 40:31).
Lord, everywhere we look, we see so much unbelief. So few people have any real interest in listening to what Your Word has to say to them. This isn’t just a problem for other people. It’s a problem for us. We’re shaped by the world far more than we admit to ourselves. We say, ‘Of course, we’re sinners, every one of us’ – but do we realize how true this is? Lord, we thank You that, at every stage of our life of faith, You speak to us Your Gospel of love: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).
Lord, we thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. He leads us out of own way – the way of sin and judgment. He leads us into Your way – the way of salvation and holiness. The Holy Spirit shows us what we really are – sinners who need to be saved by Your love and power. He leads us to Jesus, the Saviour of sinners. He gives us the strength we need to live to Your praise and glory.
Lord, we want to have more than religion. We want to have Jesus at the very centre of our lives. Religion without Jesus is empty. It may be saying the right words – but it’s not living the right way. Give us more than religion. Give us Jesus – changing us, making us what You want us to become.
Lord, we thank You for the strong words Jesus speaks to us. Sometimes, His words aren’t very ‘nice’ words. Sometimes, His words are very disturbing. He tears down our defences. He shows us what we’re really like. Why does Jesus speak such strong words to us? He wants to lead us out of our hypocrisy and into His holiness. Lord, help us to get real with You. Bring us to an end of ourselves. Bring us into a new beginning with You.
Lord, help us to value the things that are really important. Sometimes, we make too much of things that don’t really matter very much. You are speaking to us. You’re trying to get our attention, but we’re too busy with other things – things that are much less important than we think they are. Lord, help us not to lose our way. Help us to remember that Jesus is the real “Very Important Person.” What matters to Him – That’s the most important thing!
Lord, help us to learn from everyday life. Help us to look around us – and learn the lessons that You are teaching us. We miss so much of what You are saying to us. We’re thinking so much about ourselves. We don’t see what You’re showing us. Lord, help us to open our eyes and our ears. Help us to open our minds and our hearts. Help us to open our lives to You – to learn more about the greatness of Your love for us.
Lord, You’re speaking to us all the time. You never stop speaking to us. We don’t always hear what You’re saying to us. We look out at the wonderful world You’ve created for us – and we take it all for granted. We see this wonderful world all day, every day – but are we really looking for You, are we really listening to You, are we really learning from You? Lord, help us to look, listen and learn.
Lord, help us to appreciate Your Gospel – more truly and more fully. Help us not to say, “I know all that. I’ve heard it all before.” Help us to see that we can never take the ‘L- plates’ off. There’s always something more for us to learn: more about Jesus, more of Your love, more of Your power, more of Your blessing.
Lord, help us to be Your faithful servants. Faithfulness doesn’t come easily to us. We start well – and then we lose our way. Faithfulness is Your gift to us. We come to You with our confession of failure. We have failed You over and over again. We thank You, Lord, that, even in our repeated failure, we hear Your Word of promise: “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).
Lord, we thank You for Jesus – His body was broken for us, His blood was shed for us. We thank You that Jesus took our sin upon Himself so that we might be forgiven by You. We thank You that Jesus gave His life for us so that we might receive eternal life from You. Help us, Lord, to look at Jesus, dying on the Cross for us. May each one of us say, “Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being my Saviour.”
Lord, we need the cleansing that only You can give to us. Without this cleansing of our hearts, we have nothing but empty religion. Help us not to be content with saying the right words. Help us to be the right people – people who are being cleansed, people who are being changed, people who are bringing glory to You, our Lord.
Lord, we thank You that Your Son, Jesus, has risen from the dead. His enemies tried to get rid of Him. they failed. He succeeded. On the Cross, He fulfilled Your perfect plan of salvation. After His death on the Cross, You raised Him from the dead. This was Your way of showing us that death has been defeated. Thank You, Lord, for the triumph of Your Son, Jesus.
Lord, You give us more than religion – You give us salvation. We cannot, through our religion, bring ourselves back to You. Every attempt to bring ourselves back to You is doomed to failure. The problem is our sin. No matter what we do, we cannot get rid of our sin. You must do this for us. You have done this for us. Your Son has taken our place – He has died for us. He brings to us the forgiveness of our sins. This is salvation. It’s not what we do for You. It’s what You have done for us. Thank You, Lord.
Lord, we thank You for the mountain-tops – but we’re not always up there! Often, we’re down in the valleys. When everything’s going well for us, help us to remember to say, “Thank You, Lord.” When things aren’t going so well, help us to keep on looking to You, to keep on receiving strength from You.
So often, we fail You, Lord – but You never fail us. You are the faithful God. We often let You down – but You never let us down. You don’t let us down. You lift us up. Help us, Lord, to grown in faith – the faith that is learning to say, “Great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22).
Lord, You alone are great. When we start thinking that we are great, we set ourselves up for a a great fall – the greater we think we are, the greater will be our fall! Teach us, O Lord, to see ourselves as we really are – and help us to see the greatness of Your love for us (Psalm 57:10).
Lord, show us Your holiness – and show us Your love. In Your holiness, we see our sin. In Your love, we see our salvation. Lead us, O Lord, to confess our sin and receive Your salvation.
Lord, what we cannot do for ourselves, You do for us. Before we can be exalted by You – exalted to the glory of eternal life with You, we need to be humbled by You. You alone can show us our need. You come to us in holiness. You show us how far we have fallen short of Your glory. You come to us in love. You lift us up into Your presence. In Your presence – the presence of Your love, we receive blessing upon blessing. For all Your many blessings, given to us through Your Son , Jesus, we give thanks. May we, in the spirit of true thanksgiving, move forward in You and for You, bringing more and more glory to Your great Name, the Name of our salvation.
We thank You, Lord, that You have saved us by Your grace. Where would we be without Your grace? – We would be wandering far from You. Our thoughts would be far from You. Where are we now? Are we beginning to love You, as You have loved us? Whatever may be said about our progress in the life of faith, one thing is certain – we still have a long, long way to go! Thank You, Lord, that we’re not travelling on this road alone. We’re travelling with You. You are our travel guide. You take us by way of the Cross of Christ. Again and again, You bring us to the Cross. You lead us on to the empty tomb. You assure us that Jesus has risen. He is alive forevermore – and He is with us now.
Lord, take away from us the spirit of pride and give to us the spirit of praise. Help us to stop looking for glory for ourselves. Help us to start giving all the glory to You. Who are we to take glory for ourselves – when all the glory belongs to You? To ask the question is to give the answer. You have answered this question. Your answer is the Cross of Christ. At the Cross, there is no room for boasting. All we can say is, “To God be the glory! Great things He hath done! So loved He the world that He gave us His Son, who yielded His life an atonement for sin, and opened the life-gate that all may go in. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
Lord, our life is lived in different places. Sometimes, we’re in the place of worship. Sometimes, we’re out in the world – the place of witness. Always, You are there. Wherever we are There, You are there. You strengthen our faith when we’re gathered for worship. You help us to share our faith when we go back into the world. Sometimes, we speak about ‘the big, bad world.’ Help us, in our everyday life, never to forget that You are the big, good God. With You as our big, good God, even ‘the big, bad world’ can become a world filled with Your blessing, as we learn to trust You to lead us in our journey – through this ‘big, bad world’, on to the better and brighter world of Your eternal Kingdom where Your love shines so brightly, where Your love never comes to an end.
Lord, we think about ourselves, about the way we have lived. We are ashamed of ourselves. There is nothing about us that makes us worthy of coming into Your holy presence – and yet, in Your amazing grace, Your undeserved mercy and Your wonderful love, You are always reaching out to us and calling us to make a new beginning with You. Help us, Lord, to begin again with You. May our past be forgiven by You. May we face the with the renewed confidence which comes from trusting in Your great love.
Lord, we need Your Word – and we need Your Spirit. We need Your Word to guide us. We need Your Spirit to empower us. Without Your Word, we are lost. We cannot find our way back to You. Without Your Spirit, we cannot even take the first step in returning to You. By Your Spirit and Your Word, lead us to Yourself – and help us to give all the glory to You.
Lord, help us to love You – and help us to love one another. How can we say that we love You if we are not learning to love one another? How can we learn to love one another if we are not opening our hearts to the greatest love of all – Your love for us. Fill us with Your love. Change us by Your love. May our whole life shine with the glory of Your love.
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.
Lord, there are so many people who have stopped following You. They think that they can go it alone – without You. Often, we are tempted to join them. We see the way things are in today’s world – and our heads go down. We feel like giving up. When we feel like this, help us to lift our eyes, to catch a glimpse of Jesus, to see Him as the Lord of glory, to be filled with the joy that comes from knowing that Jesus is coming again  – to take us home, into the eternal presence of Your victorious love.
In our world, Lord, we hear many voices. They’re calling out to us. They’re demanding our attention. Everything can be so confusing. What are we to do? Help us to do the one thing that we must do, the one thing that we, so often, fail to do. Help us to listen to You. Help us to look into Your Word – and to learn the lessons that You are teaching us.
Lord, so often, we’re thinking, “What am I going to get out of this? – when we should be thinking, “What can I do for others?” Help us, Lord, when we read Your Word, to take a right good look at ourselves – and to start praying, “Lord, may it be less about what we want – and more about becoming what You want us to be.”
Matthew 26:1-13
Lord, thank You for Your love. Help us to love You. Is there anything better than Your love for us? No!. There is nothing better than Your love. May Your love – the greatest love of all – fill our hearts  – and inspire in us a greater love for You.
Matthew 26:14-35
Lord, we often fail You – but You never fail is. Your love is unfailing love. Lift us up, Lord. Lift us out of our failure. Lift us into the bright shining light of Your love – the bright shining light that gives us the strength to grow in our love for You.
Matthew 26:36-56
Lord, You call us Your friends. How amazing is this? You keep on calling us Your friends – even when we let You down over and over again. Lord, there is no more faithful friend than You. You are the best Friend of all.
Matthew 26:57-75
Lord, help us not to keep You at a distance. Help us to get closer to You. So many of our problems come from this: We’re too far away from You. Even when we’re keeping you at a distance, help us to know that You still love us. Help us to know that You’ll never stop loving us.
Matthew 27:1-26
Lord, we thank You that Your Son, Jesus, went to the Cross for us. It was our sin that sent Him to the Cross. He took our sin upon Himself. He took our place. We were the ones who should have died – but He was the One who died for us. We look at ourselves, and we see nothing but bad news – “The wages of sin is death.” We look at Jesus, dying on the Cross for us, and we hear the Good News of Your great love for us: “The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Matthew 27:27-54
Lord, we thank You for Your great love. It is not a love that we can take for granted. we dare not say, ‘God loves us. we can do what we like.’ Your love calls for our response. It’s a love that calls to trust in the Saviour. It’s a love which calls us to receive Your forgiveness. It’s a love which calls us to begin a new life with You. Help us, Lord, to live our lives in the light of Your great love – “Loving Him who first loved me.”
Matthew 27:55-66
Lord, what is it that keeps us walking with You in the way of faith? It’s Your grace – Your amazing grace. Without Your grace, we could not even begin to trust in You. Without Your grace, we cannot keep on trusting You. It’s Your grace that has brought us to faith in Christ. It’s Your grace that keeps us walking with You in the way of faith.
Matthew 28:1-10
Lord, we thank You that Jesus has risen from the dead. Death has been defeated. Jesus is Lord. As we think of Jesus’ mighty resurrection, help us to worship You. Fill our hearts with a joyful song of praise. Help us to share the Good News that Jesus has risen.
Matthew 28:11-20
Lord, we take our stand upon Jesus’ resurrection – and Satan comes along to knock us down and undermine our faith. What are we to do when Satan keeps on sowing his seeds of unbelief? When our faith is being attacked by Satan, help us to remember that our faith is not based on our changeable feelings. It’s based on Your unchangeable truth – “He has risen” (Matthew 28:6-7).
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Mark 1:1-20
Lord, we thank You that Your Son, Jesus, has triumphed over Your enemy, Satan. To us, Satan can seem so strong. Help us to remember that Jesus is stronger than Satan. With Jesus as our Saviour, we shall triumph over Satan, our enemy.
Mark 1:21-2:12
Lord, help us never to think that prayer time is wasted time. Jesus prayed. Jesus received Your blessing. Jesus brought Your blessing to others. Help us to be like Jesus – praying, receiving Your blessing, bringing Your blessing to others.
Mark 2:13-3:12
Lord, there are some changes that are good changes – but not all change is good change. We live in an ever-changing world. We look at some of the changes. We wonder, “Where are these changes coming from?” Is it because so many people have stopped listening to what Your Word is saying to them? What about good change, Lord? Where does good change come from? It comes from You, Lord. Real change, true and lasting change, comes to us when we put our trust in You, when we say, “Not my will, but Your will be done, Lord.”
Mark 3:13-35
Sometimes, Lord, when we think about our many sins, we wonder, “How can we possibly be forgiven?” – and, then, we remember Jesus. We remember that He died for our sins. We look at ourselves, and everything seems to be so hopeless. We look at Jesus, and we say, “Thank You, Lord, for Your wonderful love. Your love is greater than all of our sin. Thank You, Lord.  
Mark 4:1-34
Lord, what does Your Spirit have to say to us? He speaks to us of our sin. He shows us our Saviour. It’s a good thing to be aware of our sin. It’s an even better thing to know that Jesus “receives sinners” (Luke 15:2). We come to Him – and He welcomes us. He is our Savour. He forgives our sins. Our sin gets us down. Our Saviour lifts us up. No wonder we sing, “Hallelujah! What a Saviour!”
Mark 4:35-5:20
“No-one ever cared for me like Jesus”: Lord, help us to remember this – when our heads start to go down, and everything seems to be getting on top of us. Help us to remember this: “Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:38-39).
Mark 5:21-6:13
Lord, when we feel like there’s no hope, show us that You are “the God of hope” (Romans 15:130. This is why we believe that “there is hope” (Jeremiah 31:17). Our hope is in You – the God of great faithfulness (Lamentations 3:23). With You as our God, how can we ever feel that we’re hopeless? – To ask this question is to answer it! You are our God. You are our hope. Thank You, Lord.
Mark 6:14-44
Lord, we look for happiness. Where will we find it? “Happiness is to know the Saviour, living a life within His favour.” How does happiness come our way? It comes when we’re learning to see that pleasing You is more important than pleasing ourselves: Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
Mark 6:45-7:23
Where, Lord, will we find peace – when our emotions are tearing us apart? We feel like we’re being pulled this way and that way. Sometimes, we feel like we’re all over the place. We don’t know whether we’re coming or going. Lord, give us Your peace. Give us Your Son, Jesus. He is our Saviour. He is our Peace.
Mark 7:24-8:26
How much, Lord, do we want to be blessed by You? Is this something that we can take or leave? Do we say, “It would be nice to have more of the Lord’s blessing – but we’re doing OK, as things are? Are we doing OK? or Are we too easily satisfied? Create in us, Lord, a greater hunger and thirst for Your righteousness. Give us a greater desire that You will be glorified in us and through us. Help us not to settle for less than You want to give to us.
Mark 8:27-9:13
Where does our faith come from? – It comes from You, Lord. You put it into our hearts. You brought us to Jesus, Your Son – Jesus, our Saviour. You brought us out of unbelief and into faith. We came to You in our sin. You gave to us Your salvation. Thank You, Lord.
Mark 9:14-50
Lord, we come to You in weakness. You come to us in power. Our faith is weak. your power is great. What is our faith? It is faith in Your power – the power of Your love. It’s not faith in ourselves. It’s faith in You. You are our God. We put our trust in You. May we know, in our hearts, that You are absolutely trustworthy – the God who will never fail us.
Mark 10:1-31
When problems come our way, help us, Lord, to see that You have given us the answer – Your Answer: Jesus. What are we to do when we have problems? – We take them to Jesus. We see nothing but our problems – He sees something else: His opportunities. Our big problems can be turned into His great opportunities! Our problems bring us down. Your grace lifts us up. When our faith is put to the test, help us to remember Your precious promise: “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Mark 10:32-52
Lord, You gave Your Son for us. We give all the glory to You. Our salvation does not begin with ourselves. It begins with You – Your gift to us, the gift of Your love: “God so loved the world that he gave His only Son” (John 3:16). Thank You, Lord, for Your love. Thank You for Your gift. Thank You for Your Son.
Mark 11:1-33
Lord, You call us to be fruitful for You. You call us to pray to You. Lead us in the way of fruitfulness. Lead us in the way of prayer. Help us to see that real fruitfulness comes from You. It comes to us – when we seek blessing from You and give glory to You.
Mark 12:1-44
Lord, give us wisdom. Give us Jesus. Give us faith – faith that is grounded in Your Holy Word, faith that is empowered by Your Holy Spirit. This is wisdom – living in the light of Your Word, living in the power of Your Spirit, living for Jesus. Lord, give us wisdom.
Mark 13:1-27
Lead us on, Lord – from our past to Your future. Whatever our past has been, show us Your future. Show us that You haven’t given up on us. Show us that You have a great future planned for us.
Mark 14:1-25
We thank You, Lord, for Your love. It’s the greatest love of all. Your love for us is so much greater than our love for You. Help us, Lord, to think less about our love for You, and more about Your love for us.
Mark 14:26-52
Lord, we praise You. We pray to You. We preach Your Word. Help us, Lord, as we praise, pray and preach, to remember that this is only part of our life. You call us to belong to You – and to serve You in the whole of life. This is not only about the things that we do – even the ‘holy’ things! It’s about being the kind of people You’ve called us to be. We’re called by Your holiness – called to be holy. We’re called by Your love – called to be loving. We’re called by Jesus – called to become more like Him. Help us, Lord, to hear Your call. Help us to say, ‘Yes’ to Your call – the call to live in holiness and love, the call to follow Jesus.
Mark 14:53-15:5
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus went to the Cross for us. He didn’t stop halfway. He didn’t opt out at ‘the eleventh hour.’ He didn’t give up. He kept on going. What was it that kept Him going? – It was His love for us. Thank You, Lord, for His love – real love, wonderful love, perfect love, complete love, eternal love.
Mark 15:6-41
Thank You, Lord, that Jesus gave Himself for us. He took our place. He died for us. We are the sinners. He is the Saviour. He made the complete sacrifice. We receive the full salvation.This is Good News. It’s the best news we could ever hear.
Mark 15:42-16:20
We thank You that Jesus has risen from the dead. He died. He was buried. Was that the end of Him? No! There was a wonderful new beginning – for Jesus, for us. He has been raised to life – a glorious resurrection. We will be raised to life – a glorious future. Here-and-now, Lord, may our life be shaped by Your future – filled with the glory of the risen Lord.
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Luke 1:1-38
Lord, we need Your Word and Your Spirit. Your Word shows us how we are to live. Your Spirit gives us strength – for living Your way. May “the Word of Christ dwell in us richly” (Colossians 3:16) – prompting us to walk with You in the way of faith. May we “be filled with Your Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) – empowering us to walk with You in the way of obedience. Luke 1:39-80
When, Lord, You touch our lives with Your love, everything changes. Nothing remains the same. Every part of of life is changed by Your love. We have been saved by Your love. May our life be shaped by Your love.
Luke 2:1-20
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus has “come to us.” He has been born as “one of us.” We thank You that He was “led out to die on Calvary.” He has “cleansed our souls from sin.” We thank You that He has “risen from death to set us free.” He has “poured Your love and goodness in.” May “Your power break through into our lives.” Help us, Lord to “live for You” (Patrick Appleford).
Sometimes, we wonder, “What’s the world coming to?” When, Lord, our minds are filled with many questions, help us to hear Your answer: Christ is coming to the world. Sometimes, it seems to us that everything’s hopeless. We try – and we fail. Show us, Lord, that there’s something else. There’s something more than “Always look on the bright side of life.” There’s something that keeps on going when we feel like giving up. Thank You, Lord, for Your love – it never comes to an end.
Luke 2:21-52
Lord, we come to Your House – but what’s going on in our hearts? Do we come to Your House with Grudge-Giving: “I have to”? Is it “Duty-Giving”: “I ought to”? Do we come to You with “Thanksgiving”: “I want to”? Help us, Lord, to get beyond our religion – our “Grudge-Giving” and our “Duty-Giving”? Help us to find Jesus in Your House. Help us to say, “Thank You, Lord.” Give us a new spirit – a spirit of thanksgiving. Help us to really feel it. Help us to really mean it. Fill our hearts with gratitude. Fill our lives with generosity.
Luke 3:1-38
Lord, there are things that we don’t like to hear about. We don’t like to hear about sin. We don’t like to hear about death. There are some things that we do like to hear about. We like to hear that “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” What are to make of this kind of thinking: “We like this – but we don’t like that”? How can we really appreciate the Good News – “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” – if we refuse to listen to the bad news: “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)?  Help us to see how great our sin is – so that we can appreciate how great our Saviour is!
Luke 4:1-30
Lord, we are often tempted. Satan attacks us. He drags us down. He draws us away from You. What are we to do about this? We look at ourselves – and we get downhearted. We feel like we’re getting nowhere. We seem to be making some progress – and, then, we lose our way again. We take our eyes off Jesus – and we fall down. We get down-in-the-dumps. We feel like we’re no use – but that’s not the whole story. Satan is only part of the story. There’s Someone who is stronger than Satan: Jesus, our Saviour. We’re “on the victory side – With Christ within, the fight we’ll win.”  When the going gets tough, help us, Lord, to remember that we’re not alone. Jesus is fighting for us – and He is Lord!
Luke 4:31-5:11
Lord, we need Your Word – and we need Your power! We need the written Word – and the living Word! Speak to us Your Word. Speak to us in the power of the Holy Spirit. May we know, in our hearts, that Your Word is more than “the word of men.” It’s “the Word of God which is at work in us who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13) – the Word of God which brings us  to “faith” in Christ (Romans 10:17), the Word of God which brings to us new life in Christ (1 Peter 1:23-24; James 1:18), the Word of God  which leads us to “grow” in Christ (1 Peter 2:2). Thank You, Lord, for Your Word. May it always be to us more than the written Word. Help us to hear Your living Word – the Word which changes us (Hebrews 4:12).
Luke 5:12-6:11
We thank You, Lord, for the new life in the Spirit. Your way is not the way of empty religion – paying lip-service to You without being changed by Your Word and Your Spirit. Lead us in Your way. Lead us out of our weakness and into Your strength. Give us Your joy. May we know that “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Luke 6:12-49
So often, Lord, we’re too easily satisfied. You want to give us so much more – but we get stuck in a rut. We do not hunger for more of You, for more of Your blessing. Help us, Lord, to appreciate Your love for us, to grow in our love for You, to share Your love with the people we meet.
Luke 7:1-35
We hear Your Word, Lord – but do we believe it? We hear Your Word – but do we live in obedience to Your Word?  We hear Your Word – but are we afraid to speak Your Word to others? Lord, You’re always challenging us. Hearing Your Word is good – but it’s not enough! You’re calling us to do more. Help us, Lord, to believe Your Word, to obey Your Word, to be Your witnesses.
Luke 7:36-8:21
Lord, You do not come to us because we are good. You come to us because You are love. We thank You, Lord, that Your love is greater than our sin. We look at ourselves. We see our sin. We look at our Saviour. We see Your love. When we look at our sin, help us to say, “We want less of this.” When we look at our Saviour, help us to say, “We want more of Him.”
Luke 8:22-56
Lord, You are calling us to have a real faith – a faith that is more than mere words. We’re not only to say that we have faith. We’re to show that we have faith: a faith that is seen in the place of witness – not only in the place of worship.
Luke 9:1-27
Lord, You’re calling us to be Your servants. We’re not to keep Your blessing to ourselves. We’re to share Your blessing with others. Help us to rejoice in Jesus, our Saviour. Help us to speak of Him – and live for Him.
Luke 9:28-62
Lord, we thank You for Your Son, Jesus – “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). There is no-one like Jesus. He is Your Son – Your only Son: “There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin.” He is our Saviour – our only Saviour: “He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.”
Luke 10:1-37
We thank You, Lord, that “Your Kingdom has come near to us” (Luke 10:9). Jesus has come near to us. He brings Your Kingdom to us. We don’t raise ourselves up. You raise us up. Your love has come down to us. It’s Your love that lifts us up – out of our earthbound way of thinking and living, into a new life that is being shaped by Your Kingdom, the Kingdom of love, the greatest love of all, eternal love.
Luke 10:38-11:28
Lord, help us to listen to You. Help us to speak to You. Help us to live for You. Without Your help, we will get bogged down in our own self-centredness. Lift us, Lord, out of the mire of our sin. Set our feet on the Rock, which is Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Give to us a testimony which calls on others to join with us in saying, “Praise the Lord” (Psalm 40:1-3).
Luke 11:29-54
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus has risen from the dead (Luke 24:6). Death could not hold Him (Acts 2:24). He has triumphed over death – “Where, O death, is your victory? … Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Luke 12:1-34
Lead me to some soul today. Teach me Lord, just what to say.” Help us not to keep Jesus to ourselves. Help us to share Him with others. Help us to tell them what He has done for us. Help us to pray for them – that they will be brought to a living faith in the Saviour. Help us to give all the glory to You.
Luke 12:35-59
Help us, Lord, to get ready for Your Son, Jesus. We look back to His first coming. We look back – with thanksgiving. Help us to look forward to His Second Coming. Help us to look forward – with faith which rejoices in Your amazing grace, faith which lives to give praise to You, faith which gives all the glory to You.
Luke 13:1-35
You call us, Lord, to be changed by You – changed by Your love, changed by Your power. Being changed by You is very different from being changed by the world. How are we being changed? Are we being “conformed to the world” or “transformed by the Lord”? Help us, Lord, to be wary of change that comes to us from a worldly way of thinking and living. Help us to welcome the Godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled change which comes to us when we pray, “Change my heart, O God … ” (Songs of Fellowship, 58).
Luke 14:1-35 
Lord, let Your love flow. Let it flow into our hearts. Let it flow out from us to others. Let Your love flow freely. May our love for one another be more like the love that Jesus, our Saviour, has for all of us. May it be a love that attracts others to the Saviour, a love that says to them, “Jesus loves you – and His love is the best love, the greatest love of all.”
Luke 15:1-32
When, Lord, we lose our way, lead us to Jesus, our Saviour. We are wayward. We go our own way. We wander away from You. Lead us howeward – back to Your loving arms, back to Your loving welcome, back to the joy of being home – in Your presence (Luke 15:20).
Luke 16:1-31
Lord, the things that are most important to us are not always the things that are most important to You. Jesus, Your Son, tells us that eternal profit is more important than personal profit. He says to us, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” (Mark 8:36). Help us, Lord, to hear what Jesus is saying to us – and to be changed by what He says to us.
Luke 17:1-37
When, Lord, we are tempted to turn from You, help us to turn to You. Help us to take our stand on your promise of victory over temptation: ” … God is faithful … with the temptation He will also make the way of escape … ” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Help us, Lord, to say, with triumphant faith, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Luke 18:1-43
We look, Lord, at what we have been, and we feel like we’ve made a right mess of things, then we remember Jesus – and His forgiveness: “The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We look at what we are, and we feel like we’re still making a right mess of things, then we remember Jesus – and His promise of power: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8). We wonder what we will become, and we fear that we’ll keep on making a right mess of things, then we remember Jesus – and His promise of eternal glory: “I will come again and take you to Myself” (John 14:3).
Luke 19:1-48
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Saviour – He came to save us (Luke 19:10). He is also our Lord – He wants to “reign over” us (Luke 19:27). We’re so glad that salvation has come to us (Luke 19:9). Help us to be good and faithful servants of Jesus, our Saviour and Lord (Luke 19:17).
Luke 20:1-47
Help us, Lord, to stop talking about ourselves – and start listening to You. We can get so busy – talking about all the things that matter most to us. We forget to listen to what You are saying to us about the things that matter most to You. Hep us, day-by-day, to turn to Your Word – to come to You with the prayer: “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10).
Luke 21:1-38
Fill our lives, Lord, with grace, gratitude, giving and glory. The grace comes from You. We are saved by Your amazing grace. Where does the gratitude come from? It comes from You. You put it into our hearts. You show us how much You have done for us. You give us the attitude of gratitude. How are we to give to You? We must learn to receive from You. From You, we receive Jesus. He’s Your greatest gift. As we receive Jesus, our Saviour, may we give glory to You – the God of our salvation, the God who is leading us on to eternal glory.
Luke 22:1-38
We think, Lord, of Jesus, Your Son, We think of His suffering. We think of His salvation. He suffered for us. We are saved by Him. We think of all that Jesus has done for us. We can say nothing more or less than this: Thank You, Lord.
Luke 22:39-71
When we are suffering, help us, Lord, to look to Jesus. Help us to see Jesus – suffering for us. Help us, like Jesus, to look beyond suffering – to glory: the glory of being with You – being with You in Your eternal glory.
Luke 23:1-25
In our world, Lord, we see the love of power. In our Saviour, we see something else, something better than this. We see the power of love. Help us, Lord, not to be shaped by this world’s way of thinking. Help us to be changed by our Saviour and His way of salvation – changed by the power of His love.
Luke 23:26-24:12
We thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus – crucified for us and risen for us. Jesus died to bring us out of the dark shadows of our past – our sins have been forgiven. Jesus rose to bring us into the bright shining light of Your future – eternal life.
Luke 24:13-53
We thank You, Lord, for the Scriptures. They lead us to our Saviour – Jesus. The Scriptures speak to us of His suffering and our salvation. When we think of all that Jesus has done for us, may we receive, from You, the spirit of thanksgiving – joyful thanksgiving, heartfelt thanksgiving.
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John 1:1-34
We thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus – “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). What a wonderful thing this – it’s the great exchange: Jesus has taken our sin, and we receive His salvation.
John 1:35-2:25
Help us, Lord, to look beyond what we are right now. Help us to catch a glimpse of what You want us to become. How are we to become what You want us to be? Your divine power is far more important than our human effort. We don’t change ourselves. We are changed by You – changed by Your love, changed by Your power.
John 3:1-36
Where does our salvation come from? Does it come from ourselves? Does it begin with “I”? No! It comes from You. It begins with You – “God so loved the world … ” (John 3:16).
John 4:1-42
We thank You, Lord, for Your great love. You bring us out of our bondage to sin. You bring us into the joy of Your salvation. Your love reaches down to us. Your love brings us to Jesus. He’s Your Son. He’s our Saviour. Help us to put our trust in Him – to be set free from the guilt of our sinful past, to face the future with the strength that comes from Your joy (Nehemiah 8:10).
John 4:43-5:29
Lord, You love us with the best love of all. There is no love like Your love for us. Where would we be without Your love? Our lives would be a mess – a complete mess. You pick up the pieces. You put us together again. You send Your Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. He is Your guarantee to us that You are leading us on to eternal glory – with You.
John 5:30-6:21
We thank You, Lord, for Jesus – “the Bread of God … which comes down from heaven” (John 6:33). We recall the words that He spoke to Satan in the wilderness: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). It’s Jesus that we need. It’s Jesus who satisfies our deepest longings. At the heart of our lives, there is emptiness – when Jesus isn’t there. When He is there – in our hearts, everything changes. His love changes everything – and we say, “All that thrills my soul is Jesus. He is more than life to me.”
John 6:22-59
Help us, Lord, never to be satisfied with anything less than Jesus. He’s the very best, Your greatest gift, Your most wonderful blessing. What could be better than having Jesus as our Saviour? – Nothing! There’s no-one like Jesus – Hallelujah!
John 6:60-7:36
We thank You, Lord, for Your Word of life. When we are tempted to draw back from following Jesus, He speaks to us “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). This is what keeps us walking with You. It’s not the strength of our faith. It’s the power of Your grace. Our faith is weak. Your grace is strong. Help us, in our weakness, to hear Your Word of strength: “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
John 7:37-8:20
We thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our holy Saviour, our loving Saviour. Jesus is perfectly holy, yet He keeps on loving us with a perfect love – “Neither do I condemn you” (John 8:11). Jesus’ love for us is very wonderful, but He doesn’t say to us, ‘Go and do what you like.’ He says, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). We have been “redeemed by His precious blood” (1 Peter 1:18-19). May we be renewed, day-by-day, by Your grace which never leaves us as we were, Your grace which changes – “Create in us a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within us” (Psalm 51:10).
John 8:21-58
Help us, Lord, to see ourselves as we really are: “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). Help us, also, to see that Your wonderful grace is greater than all our sin. Help us to see that Jesus sets us free (John 8:36). He forgives our sins. He gives us the strength that we need to keep on walking with You. He’s leading us on to Your eternal glory. With Jesus as our Saviour, may we know that our sin will never have the last word: “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
John 9:1-41
Lord, we thank You that You bring us out of our darkness and into Your light: “One thing I know. I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). We only catch a glimpse of Your light. There is still so much darkness. It’s not only the darkness around us. It’s the darkness in us. Lord, may the glimpses of Your light keep us from being overwhelmed by the darkness.
John 10:1-42
Living for You, Lord, is not easy. Satan sees to that! Help us, Lord, when we’re sorely tempted to turn from You, to remember that You are stronger than Satan: “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
John 11:1-44
We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, is “the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). His promise is given to those who believe in Him: “he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). Help us, when we hear these words of hope, to say ‘Yes’ to Jesus when He puts to us His question, “”Do you believe this?” (John 11:26).
John 11:45-12:36
We thank You, Lord, for Jesus. He died on the Cross for us. Through His death, Satan is defeated. Through His death, we are saved. Thank You, Lord, for this mighty victory over Satan. Thank You for this great salvation for us.
John 12:37-13:20
Help us, Lord, not to be secret disciples. May we be unashamed to say that we belong to Jesus – to take our stand for Jesus. Help us not to think of Him only as our personal Saviour. Give us the strength that we need to confess Him before others – to confess Him as our Lord.
John 13:21-14:14
When, Lord, we face difficult times, help us to look beyond them – to Your glorious future. Jesus is “preparing a place for us in Your House” (John 14:2). When we feel low, may His precious promise of heavenly and eternal glory fill us with Your joy and Your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
John 14:15-15:17
Lord, we come to You in our weakness. You give to us Your strength. Without Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15:5). With Jesus as our Saviour – His Word abiding in us (John 15:7) and the Holy Spirit teaching us all things (John 15:26), we are led into a life of fruitfulness (John 15:12,16-17). May it be “the fruit of the Spirit” – “love, joy, peace … ” (Galatians 5:22-23).
John 15:18-16:33
Lord, we face many problems and difficulties. You are greater than all of them! This is Good News – and it fills our hearts with joy. “The world is trying to squeeze us into its mould” (Romans 12:2) – but You come to us with Your Word of victory: “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). You call us to trust in You, to be led in Your way of victory: “Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5).
John 17:1-26
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is praying for us. He is seated at Your right hand – and He has not forgotten us. Often, we forget Him. He never forgets us. He keeps on praying for us – “He ever lives to make intercession for us” (Hebrews 7:25). He prays that we “may be one” (John 17:11).When we are tempted to go the way of Judas Iscariot, “the one who chose to be lost” (John 17:12), help us to “take note of those who create dissensions”, to “avoid them” and to “maintain the unity of the Spirit” (Jude 4; 1 John 2:18-19; Romans 16:17-18).
John 18:1-27
We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, drank from the cup of our condemnation so that we might drink from the cup of His salvation. What a great thing Jesus has done for us. He has done all that needed to be done – for us to be forgiven by You. We thank You that Jesus, the risen Lord, gives us a new beginning – the new beginning that comes from Your Holy Spirit, the new beginning that turns sinful failures into faithful servants.
John 18:28-19:16
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus took our sin – and we receive His salvation. Is there anything better than this? No! This is the best. Jesus is the best. We look at Him – crucified for us, and we say, “Hallelujah! What a Saviour!”
John 19:17-20:10
We thank You, Lord, that, when Jesus died on the Cross, He did all that needed to be done for our salvation. From the Cross, He mad this great declaration: “It is finished” (John 19:30). These were not words of despair. They are words of triumph. Beyond the Cross, there was something elsethat needed to be done. It was something that only You could have done. You raised Jesus from the dead. No-one else could have done this. Resurrection is Your work. To You alone be all the glory – forever and ever!
John 20:11-31
We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus, is “our Lord and our God” (John 20:28). We thank You that, through Jesus, the risen Lord, we have received Your gift of eternal “life” (John 20:31). As we think of all that You have done for us and given to us, may we keep on trusting You, giving thanks to You and living to bring glory tp Your great Name – the Name of our salvation.
John 21:1-25
We thank You, Lord, for the words of Jesus – “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). This is the call of Your grace. It is our Saviour who calls us. He calls to receive His forgiveness – and to follow Him. It is the call to discipleship. We’re not to keep our distance. We’re to draw near to Jesus – and follow in His footsteps. It’s the call to be fruitful. We’re not to keep the Good News to ourselves. We’re to share Jesus’ love with others.We’re to bring others to Him. Lord, help us to receive Your grace, to follow your Son, and to bring people to Him.
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Acts 1:1-26
We thank You, Lord, for Your gift of the Holy Spirit. We are not called to serve You in our own strength. We come to You in our weakness. You give to us Your strength. This is the strength that we need – the strength that comes from You.
Acts 2:1-47
We thank You, Lord, that the Holy Spirit directs our attention to Jesus (John 16:14). He leads us to make our confession of faith: “Jesus is Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:3). He leads us into a new life – a life that is centred on Jesus, a life that brings glory to You and blessing to us.
Acts 3:1-26
What we cannot do for ourselves, You do for us. Thank You, Lord. You forgive our sins. You give us new life. You’re leading us on to Your eternal glory. Thank You, Lord.
Acts 4:1-5:11
Without You, Lord, we are weak. With You, we are strong. Lead us, Lord, out of our failure and into Your victory, out of our sin and into Your holiness. How are we to walk with You in holiness and victory? – We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our Saviour (Hebrews 12:1-2; Acts 4:120. When we fail You, Lord, help us to learn from the testimony of Peter – he failed (Matthew 29:69-75), and he was filled (Acts 4:8). Help us to join, with Peter, in saying, “Lord, You know that we love You” (John 21:15-17).
Acts 5:12-6:7
We thank You, Lord, for Your Word and Your Spirit (Acts 6:3-4). Help us, Lord, to “be filled with the Spirit” as we “let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly” (Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:16). Filled with Your Spirit and obedient to Your Word, may we look to You for Your blessing (Acts 6:7).
Acts 6:8-8:3
You call us, Lord, to be Your faithful servants. Help us to follow our Saviour. Give to us His forgiving spirit. May our lives be marked by loyalty and love – loyalty to Jesus, love for people who need Him.
Acts 8:4-40
Help us, Lord, not to be content with empty religion when we can have full salvation. We want ‘the real thing.’ We want Jesus. We want more than ‘going through the motions of religion.’ We want to have the Holy Spirit, living in us and working through us. Jesus, the Holy Spirit – This is not only about what we want. It’s about You want us to have. It’s about what You give to us – a real Saviour and a life-changing Spirit.
Acts 9:1-34
Help us, Lord, never to forget what we were before Jesus saved us. Where would we be without Jesus? Life with Jesus is so much better than life without Him. Help us never to forget this. When we’re tempted to go back to our life without Jesus, help us to say,”No, Lord. No turning back. It’s Jesus for me – Jesus, today: Jesus, all the way.
Acts 10:1-11:18
We thank You, Lord, for Your love – “You loved the world so much that You gave Your Son, Jesus” (John 3:16); Your Son – He died for “the sins of the whole world” (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2); Your command – “the Good News” of Christ’s love is to be preached to “every person” (Mark 16:15); and Your purpose – You’re looking for disciples of Christ in every nation (Matthew 28:19).
Acts 11:19-12:25
Lord, we read about Barnabas – he “was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord” (Acts 11:24). Help us to pray, “Make us like Barnabas.” Help us to give ourselves to You, to be changed by You, and to become more useful in Your service.
Acts 13:1-43
We thank You, Lord, for Your Word – and we thank You that it is more than words. It is the Word that comes to us in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 13:44-14:28
We thank You, Lord, for Your Good News – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). We are sinners. Christ is our Saviour. For this, we give You our heartfelt thanks. Acts 15:1-35
We thank You, Lord, that we are “saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 15:11). we receive His grace when we put our faith in Him: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Putting our faith in the Lord Jesus – This is just the beginning of a life-long commitment to Him: “saved by grace through faith for good works” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Acts 15:36-16:40
Lord, teach us to pray. This is where the power comes from. It comes from You. Sometimes, it seems like, “Lord, here we are again.” You never say, “Oh, it’s you again.” Help us to keep on praying – wven when we feel like giving up. Sometimes, we’re not sure what we should be praying for. When we feel like this, help us to pray, “Your will be done.” Help us to hear Your Word of grace: “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Acts 17:1-34
Help us, Lord, to make time for reading Your Word – not just on Sundays, when we’re in church. Help us to read Your Word every day. When we stop speaking to You, help us to remember that You haven’t stopped speaking to us. Your Word continues to speak to us – even when we’re not really listening. Help us, Lord, to listen to what You’re saying to us: “Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10).
Acts 18:1-21
When, Lord, we feel like giving up, help us to keep on going. Many people are turning away from You. Help us, Lord, not to follow them. Help us to keep on following Jesus.
Acts 18:22-19:22
Help us, Lord, never to adopt a ‘know-it-all’ attitude. there is always so much more for us to learn. There is so much more blessing for us – when we’re listening to You, when we’re ready to receive from You.
Acts 19:23-20:16
“King of my life, I crown Thee now, Thine shall the glory.” Help us, Lord, to give You first place in our lives. Help us to say, “Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son.” Help us to walk with you in the power of Christ’s “endless victory.” May much blessing flow into our lives, overflowing out from us into the lives of other people.
Acts 20:17-21:14
Often, Lord, we’re out for what we can get when we should be thinking about how we can give. Change us, Lord. Change us from the inside. May the story of our life become “Not I but Christ” (Galatians 2:20), “I must decrease. Christ must increase” (John 3:30).
Acts 21:15-22:16
Lord, You call us to be Your witnesses: “You shall be My witnesses.” Help us, always, to remember that the power comes from You: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
Acts 22:17-23:35 
Help us, Lord, to have the upward look – looking up to You, to receive Your power – and the outward look – looking out to the world, to bring to them the Good News of Your love.
Acts 24:1-27
We thank You, Lord, for the Old Testament Scriptures. They tell us that the Saviour will come. We thank You for the New Testament Scriptures. They tell us that the Saviour has come. Speak to us, Lord, from every part of Your Word. Lead us to Jesus. Help us to welcome Him – our great Saviour.
Acts 25:1-27
Often, Lord, we can’t make up our mind. We are indecisive. Jesus speaks to us. He calls us to make our decision for Him – but we sit on the fence. We’re neither one thing nor the other. We try to keep on the right side of Jesus – but we’re not out-and-out for Him. Help us, Lord, to nail our colours to the mast – to say, “I belong to Jesus – and I’m proud to belong to Him.”
Acts 26:1-32
Lord, help us to remember – and to forget. Help us to remember what You have done for us – and to say, “Thank You, Lord.” Help us, Lord, to forget what we once were – so that we don’t keep on wanting to go back to the world’s way of living.
Acts 27:1-44
Without You, Lord, we are without hope. Where does hope come from? It comes from You, Lord. You are “the God of hope” [Romans 15:13]. You give us more than the hope of a better life – a life that is filled with Your blessing. You give us the glorious hope of eternal life [1 John 3:2].
Acts 28:1-31
We thank You, Lord, that You are greater than Satan. When Satan comes to us, help us to remind him of this. Help us to tell Satan that Jesus is Lord. Help us to tell Satan that Jesus has triumphed over him. Help us to say to him, “In the name of Jesus, we have the victory. With Christ within, the fight we’ll win. On the victory side.”
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Romans 1:1-32
“I am not ashamed of the Gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith” (Romans 1:16). Lord, we thank You for Your Gospel. It is Good News. It comes to us with power. It brings to us salvation. Help us to believe Your Gospel, to release its power and to receive Your salvation.
Romans 2:1-29
Help us, Lord, not to come to You with the Pharisee’s pride: “God, I thank You that I am not like other men.” Help us to come with the sinner’s prayer: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke 18: 11-13). Help us, Lord, to confess our sin and rejoice in Your salvation: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).
Romans 3:1-31
“All have sinned” (Romans 3:23). Lord, this is more than the Bible’s teaching about sin. It’s our own personal story. It’s the story of our life. Sin – This is not the only story. There’s another story, a better story – the Story of Your salvation. You have sent Jesus to our world. He is our Saviour. He comes to us with His pardon, His peace and His power. He saves us. He changes us. “Sin shall not have dominion over us” (Romans 6:14) – Thank You, Lord.
Romans 4:1-25
Lord, Your salvation is always Your gift. It’s never a reward that we earn. Salvation never begins with “I” – “This is what I have done.” It always begins with You, Lord. It begins with Your love: “God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We can never save ourselves. We can only be saved by You, Lord. Thank You, Lord, for giving to me Your salvation, so full and free.”
Romans 5:1-21
Lord, You are the great God. Your love is great. Your Son is great. Your salvation is great. You give us a great future – glory with You forevermore. Thank You, Lord.
Romans 6:1-21
Lord, we want to walk with you in the centre of Your will. Where does this desire to please You come from? – It comes from You, Lord. You put it into our hearts. Without Your Word, speaking to us, we would never think of walking with You. We would be too busy thinking about ourselves and what we want. Draw near to us, Lord. Keep us close to Yourself.
Romans 7:1-25
Lord, our life’s a battlefield. It’s a minefield. We never know when something’s going to blow up in our face. When the heat is on, help us to cool down with Your calm: “Do not be anxious about anything … with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Romans 8:1-39
Life is all about choices. Sometimes, Lord, we make bad decisions – and we have to live with them. We thank You, Lord, that You made the best decision. You decided to love us. You decided to send Your Son to us. We thank You, Lord, that You’ve never gone back on Your decision. Our love for You is often weak. Your love for us is as strong as it ever was. It’s absolute love. It’s “love that will not let us go” (George Matheson).
Romans 9:1-33
Often, Lord, we have too much self-confidence and not enough confidence in You. May there be less ‘I can’ – that’s the pride we can do without – and more ‘God can’ – this is the faith we need so much. Are there times when we can forget about ‘God can’, times when ‘I can’ is all that we need? When we start thinking like this, help us to remember Jesus’ words: “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Lord, we are not without You. You are with us. Help us to say, I can – because God can.”
Romans 10:1-21
Sometimes, Lord, we feel left out in the cold. Other people are being blessed – but we’re not! Where does this kind of thinking come from? – It comes from Satan. He tells us that we don’t matter to You. You love everybody else – but us! How can we get out of this rut? We need to be lifted out of it, lifted out by You. Lift us up, Lord. Lift us up with Your love. Lift us up to a new level. Give to us a new awareness of how much You love us.
Romans 11:1-36
Teach us, Lord, to “stand in awe” of You and to “stand fast” for You. May we have no place in our hearts for the way of “pride.” May we always seek to walk with You in the way of “faith” (Romans 11:20).
Romans 12:1-13:10
Lord, we want to know what love is. We want You to show us. We want to feel what love is. We know You can show us. There is no love like Your love. It’s “love so amazing, so divine.” May Your love reach us  – and change us.
Romans 13:1-14:23
Give to us, Lord, real love, real faith, real peace and real joy. We don’t want just talk about these things. We want the real thing – a life that is being changed by Your power, a life that is bringing glory to You.
Romans 15:1-33
We thank You, Lord, for Christ’s example, calling us to walk more closely with You. We thank You for the encouragement of the Scriptures, urging us on to a closer walk with You. We thank You for Your enabling power that keeps us walking with You day-by-day – “Day-by-day, O dear Lord, three things I pray: To see Thee more clearly, to love Thee more dearly, to follow Thee more nearly, day-by-day.”
Romans 16:1-27
We have many problems, Lord, but Your power is greater than all of them. Help us to look beyond our problems. Help us to receive Your power. Help us to release Your power. Renew us, Lord. Put a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10) – a spirit of praise, a spirit of obedience, a spirit of joy, your Holy Spirit.
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1 Corinthians 1:1-2:5
We thank You, Lord, that our faith is “not based on human wisdom.” Our faith comes from Your power at work in us (1 Corinthians 2:5). Our faith is nothing without Your power. Without Your wisdom, we are fools. How do we receive Your power and Your wisdom? – We receive Your power and Your wisdom when we receive Jesus Christ, the Saviour, who has been crucified for us. He is Your power and Your wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).
1 Corinthians 2:6-3:23
Help us, Lord, never to forget that the Saviour is always much more important than the servant. We serve You. You save us. Save and serve – what a difference there is between the two! Your salvation comes first. First, You save us. Then, we serve You. Help us never to forget this. When we start thinking, “You save us, because we serve You”, take us back to the Cross of Christ. Teach us that we serve  You because You have saved us.
1 Corinthians 4:1-21
Lord, You’ve called us to be “servants of Christ.” May we be “found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:1-4). Pleasing You – may this be the big thing in our lives. Nothing else matters more than this. We can try to keep people happy. What will that achieve if we’ve forgotten that the most important thing is pleasing You? Lord, let there be less of self and more of You in our lives.
1 Corinthians 5:1-6:11
Help us, Lord, to keep our eyes on Jesus – “Christ, our Passover Lamb, who has been sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:6-7). Help us never to forget that Your great blessings have come to us through Jesus, our great Saviour – “you were washed … sanctified … justified in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). Help us, Lord, as we think of Jesus, our great Saviour, to say, from our hearts, “To God be the glory! Great things He has done.”
1 Corinthians 6:12-7:24
Lord, there is one love that is greater than any other love. It’s Your love for us. You gave Your Son for us. When we think of Your love, when we see Jesus, crucified for us, help us to open our hearts to Your love. Help us to receive Your love, to rejoice in Your love and be renewed by Your love.
1 Corinthians 7:25-8:13
Lord, there is no better life than the life that is centred on Christ. We may think that we’re doing all right when we’re living for ourselves – but we’re not! You call us out of a self-centred life and into a life of love, a life that is being shaped by Your love, a life that proclaims Your love – “The steadfast love of the Lord endures for ever” (Psalm 136).
1 Corinthians 9:1-27
Sometimes, Lord, we want to be the centre of attention. We forget that we’re not the centre. You’re the centre – the centre of our faith, our worship and our life. You’re the One who has done all that was needed for us to be saved. Our salvation does not come from ourselves. It comes from You. What can we say about this? – All we can say is this: “To God be the glory! Great things He has done.” Help us to stop trying to be the centre of attention – and to start making You the great focus of our attention.
1 Corinthians 10:1-33
We gather together at the Lord’s Table. We have been invited by Jesus. We are welcomed by Jesus. We remember Jesus. Help us, Lord, to appreciate, more deeply, the love of Jesus: “the Son of God loved us and gave Himself for us.” Help us to leave the old life – “I have been crucified with Christ” – and live the new life – “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
1 Corinthians 11:1-34
What’s it all about? What are we doing when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper? Help us, Lord, to look beyond the bread and wine. Help us to see Jesus – in the glory of His love. His body was broken for us. This is not about what we do for Jesus. It’s about what He has done for us. It’s about thinking and thanking. As we think about Jesus, may we also thank Him for being such a wonderful Saviour.
1 Corinthians 12:1-31
Teach us, Lord, to walk with You, in love. May we be deeply appreciative of Your love for us. May we be radically transformed by Your love for us. Your love does not leave us where it finds us.Your love changes us. It makes us new men and women – people who are learning to love You with the love that You have poured into our hearts.
1 Corinthians 13:1-14:12
Help us, Lord, to look back with thanksgiving and to look forward with faith. Help us to remember the past and to prepare for the future.We’re to learn from the past. We’re not to live in the past. Learning from the past doesn’t mean getting locked in the past. There are things that belong to the past, things that should be left in the past. They’re not the most important things. They’re things that should be allowed to die. There are, however, things that must never be allowed to die – the love that comes to us from You, the faith that trusts in Jesus, our Saviour; and the hope that arises in our hearts when the Holy Spirit makes His home in us (1 Corinthians 13:13).
1 Corinthians 14:13-40
Help us, Lord, to practise what we preach, to practise what we pray, to practise what we praise. We speak about good preaching, good times of prayer, good songs of praise. What about good living? How much does it really matter, Lord, if our good preaching, praying and praising doesn’t lead to good living? teach us, Lord, to look for more than saying and singing the right things. Help us to live the right way – bringing glory to You all through the week, and not only when we’re gathered together for worship.
1 Corinthians 15:1-45
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus has risen from the dead. Help us to look forward to our resurrection from the dead. We will be “raised” – “imperishable … in glory … in power … a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). Help us, here-and-now, to experience the power of Christ’s resurrection (Philippians 3:10). Believing the fact of His resurrection, living in the power of His resurrection, and rejoicing in the hope of our resurrection, may we be resurrection people, living the resurrection life. May we have faith in You, the resurrection God.
1 Corinthians 15:46-16:24
Teach us, Lord, to trust You, to love You and to serve You. Help us to think about our trust in You, our love for You and our service for You – Are they growing stronger or getting weaker? May there be less unbelief and more faith in You, less half-heartedness and more love for You, less laziness and more serving You with commitment that keeps on going when we feel like giving up.
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2 Corinthians 1:1-2:11
Lord, You “comfort us in all our affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). You turn our times of trouble into times of great blessing. When bad things are happening to us, You keep on loving us. You don’t leave us on our own when the going gets tough. You’re with us in the good times – and You’re with us in the bad times. How do we know that You love us? – Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8). Thank You, Lord, for Your love. It’s the only love that keeps on going when we feel like giving up. It’s the love that keeps us going, the love that assures us that You have not forgotten us. Your promise is still true: “I will never leave you. I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5).
2 Corinthians 2:12-3:18
“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). “Thanks be to God, who, in Christ, always leads us in triumph” (2 Corinthians 2:14). We thank You, Lord, for Your words of encouragement. where would we be without Your Word which brings such strength into our lives? In ourselves, we are so weak. Again and again, we fail You – but that, Lord, isn’t the full story of our lives. Alongside the story of our sin, there’s another story – the story of Your amazing grace. Your glory is shining upon us. We’re being “changed into Christ’s likeness with ever-increasing glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). In life’s many hard times, help us, Lord, to see what You’re doing in our lives.
2 Corinthians 4:1-5:10
Lord, You’ve called us to salvation – “God has shone in our hearts … ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). You’ve called us to service – “having this ministry by the mercy of God” (2 Corinthians 4:1). Where do our experience of salvation and our empowering for service come from? – They come from Your great gift, the gift of Your Spirit: “God has given us the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 5:5). we fail You so often. Our faith is weak, our witness seems so ineffective – but there is more than our faith and our witness. There is Your Spirit. Thank You, Lord, for the great encouragement that comes to us from knowing that You have given us Your Spirit – the Spirit of grace, the Spirit of power, the Spirit who will lead us on to Your eternal glory.
2 Corinthians 5:11-7:1
Lord, You have saved us. Help us to serve You. Help us to begin with worship. We cannot work for You if we’re not learning to worship You. Help us also to live for You. We cannot serve You if we’re not learning to live for You. When life, worship and service are brought together, our words and our actions will proclaim Your greatness. We will be “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Every part of us will say, “To God be the glory! Great things He has done.”
2 Corinthians 12:11-13:14
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Lord, these are not only words to be spoken at the end of a service of worship. they’re much more than that. They’re life-changing words. they speak to us of Your blessing. they poit us yo Jesus, our Saviour. They remind us that Your love is an ‘always and forever’ love. They remind us that “the Spirit is poured upon us from on high” (Isaiah 32:15). Help us, Lord, to live as people who are loved, saved and empowered.
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 Galatians 1:1-2:10
Lord, we thank you that You have given to us “a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12). Christ is the Gospel. He is our testimony. He is our message. Help us to keep Him at the very centre of our life. In our ever-changing world, help us to keep on saying, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Galatians 2:11-3:22
Lord, we thank You that Jesus died for us. we thank You that He lives in us. In Him, there is love – “He loved me.” In Him, there is life – “He lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, for the love that He has shown to us and the life that He has given to us.
Galatians 3:23-5:6
Lord, we do not come to You with our religion in one hand and our morality in the other. We do not come, insisting that we deserve to be blessed by You. Help us to bring our pride to the Cross of Christ. Help us to pray, “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Break me. Melt me. Mould me. Fill me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.”
Galatians 5:7-6:18
What, Lord, are we praying for when we ask You to fill us with Your Spirit? We’re asking for more love, more joy, more peace, more patience, more kindness, more goodness, more faithfulness, more gentleness, more self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). we’re asking for more of Jesus – Jesus, reigning in our hearts; Jesus, taking control of our lives.
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Ephesians 1:1-2:10
Lord, You call us to live a holy life. We cannot do this in our own strength. True holiness does not come from ourselves. It comes from You. It comes from Your love. Your love reaches us. Your love changes us. Your love is stronger than our sin. May Your love inspire us to live a holy life. May Your love enable us to live a holy life – a life that brings glory to You, the God of our salvation.
Ephesians 2:11-4:6
When You, Lord, are at work in us, everything changes. You save us. You sanctify us. You strengthen us. Help us to serve You.
Ephesians 4:7-5:14
Lord, You want us to “grow up in every way into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). You want us to “walk in love” (Ephesians 5:2). You want us to live a life that is “pleasing to You” (Ephesians 5:10). Why do we settle for something less than Your very best? Help us, Lord, not to “grieve Your Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:14). When we hear Your wake-up call – “Awake, O sleeper … ” (Ephesians 5:14), help us to open the door of our heart to Jesus, our great Saviour” (Revelation 3:20).
Ephesians 5:15-6:24
“Be very careful how you live” (Ephesians 5:16). When, Lord, You say this to us, we wonder, “How are we to do this?” You say to us, “Be filled with the Spirit”, have “revernce for Christ”, “love our Lord Jesus Christ with love undying” (Ephesians 5:18,21 & 6:24). Help us, Lord, to love Jesus – and help us to live for Him.
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What are we to do, Lord, when we think that You're against us?

Job 9:20-10:22 What are we to do, Lord, when, like Job, we think that You are “against” us (Job 10:2)? Where do such negative thoughts ...