Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2018

The Story Of God’s Love

Jesus tells us a story of God’s love. Jesus is the Story of God’s love. In the preaching of God’s Word – the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), we have a story told By Jesus. It’s a story of God’s love. In the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, we have the Story of Jesus. It’s the story of the perfect Son. Jesus is the Story of God’s love.

God loves us …

God loves us. He comes to us. He calls us to come to Him. The call of Samuel is a vivid example of what God can do in the lives of children. Samuel’s early response to God set in motion a whole process of events leading Samuel to become ‘a prophet of the Lord’ through whom ‘the Word of the Lord… came to all Israel’ (1 Samuel 3:10, 19-4:1). Let us ground our children in Christ, encouraging them to have great expectations of what God can do in and with their lives as they grow up, loving Him. The people of Israel were ‘defeated’ by the Philistines. The greatest tragedy of this defeat was the ‘capture’ of ‘the ark of God’: ‘The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured’ (1 Samuel 4:10-11, 22). We may lose ‘goods, honour, children, wife’ (Church Hymnary, 454). The glory of God among His people – We must not lose this!

God loves us. His love for us inspires our love for Him. Obedience is grounded in salvation. The Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5:7-21) are …

Living As The Prophetic People Of God

'Living as the prophetic people of God': How should we approach this subject? We could embark on a lengthy discussion, centred on the question, "What is prophecy?" Here, I will suggest a general definition of prophecy, and then proceed to consider the principal connections between prophecy and the Christian life. We may begin with two sentences from the 'Editorial Policy Statement' of the magazine, "Prophecy Today": "We define prophecy as the forthtelling of the Word of God ... Through the Holy Spirit the written Word of God of yesterday becomes the living Word of today." When a fellow-member was leaving the Presbytery of Dunfermline, I was invited to speak on his behalf. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Dunfermline Athletic ('The Pars'). I used the letters P-A-R-S to characterize his ministry as Preaching Anointed by the Renewing Spirit. What do we mean when we speak of this 'anointing'? Leonard Ravenhill, in the open…

A Godly, Christlike And Spirit-Filled Life

What kind of people are we to be? What kind of life are we to live? Lord, You're calling us to live a life of "love" (Proverbs 17:9). How, Lord, do we learn what love is? - We learn from You. You show us what love is - "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son ... " (John 3:16). In Jesus, we see perfect love - "The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). The Holy Spirit fills our lives with Your love - "The fruit of the Spirit is love" (Galatians 5:22). Help us, Lord, to live a Godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled life - a life of love.

The Lord's Supper: Remembering and Responding

In our celebration of the Lord's Supper, our primary focus is on what Jesus Christ, our Saviour,has done for us. This is the "there and then" part of the Lord's Supper. We remember His death for us. We think of Him. we give thanks to Him. There is also a secondary focus of attention. It's the "here and now" part of the Lord's Supper: our response to Him. We are not only remembering the story of what happened a long time ago. As well as remembering Him - what He did for us there and then, we are responding to Him here and now. May God bless each of us in both our remembering Him and our responding to Him.

Couldn't care less! Can't be bothered! ...

Couldn’t care less! Can’t be bothered! Many people have this attitude toward Jesus Christ and His Church. Perhaps, it’s your attitude right now as you begin to read this invitation. God’s attitude to you is exactly the opposite. He cares for you! He is bothered with you! God’s care! God’s “being bothered”! Doesn’t that make you think, “What right have I to say to God, “Couldn’t care less! Can’t be bothered! Take time to read this invitation carefully. It may change your life.  * Perhaps, you’re thinking, 'Why should God care about me?' There is no answer to this question apart from the love of God. Look at yourself honestly. God should really have given up on all of us a long time ago – but He hasn’t! God sent His Son – Jesus Christ – to seek and to save the lost. God patiently waits for those who have lost their way in life (that’s all of us!) to come back to Him through trusting Jesus Christ as Saviour.  * Perhaps, you’re wondering, 'How do I know that God cares about me…

Listen To The Lord - And Live For Him.

In our day, there are many who say, "Let us follow other gods." God says, "You must not listen" to such people (Deuteronomy 13:2-3). To follow the Lord's instruction is not popular. Nevertheless, this is what we must do: "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door" (Luke 13:24). Whatever the world may say, we must stand by the truth of God's Word: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).

When Christ Returns, There Will Be Salvation - And Judgment.

Each of the tribes had their part in the promised land. Each of Jesus' disciples, whom He called to Himself at the outset of His ministry, had his part in the work of the Lord. What God did with Israel and with Jesus' first disciples will be surpassed when Christ comes in glory: "You shall see greater things ... You shall see the heavens open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man" (John 1:50-51). On that Day, there will be both salvation and judgment: "The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead" (Proverbs 11:8).

Deliver us, O Lord, from religion without compassion.

1 Samuel 21:1-22:23
Deliver us, O Lord, from religion without compassion. We don't want to be Pharisees. we want to be followers of Jesus. Give us compassion - but may it always be compassion without compromise. Help us not to sacrifice truth and righteousness for the sake of relevance. Help us "to be the best that we can be for truth and righteousness and Thee." Help us to see what relevance really is. Help us to see where relevance really comes from. It doesn't just emerge out of our own minds, our own creativity. It's based on truth. We didn't create truth - and we don't create relevance. "Your Word is truth" (John 17:17). Your Word is relevant - because it is truth: truth unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable. Lord, help us to be faithful to Your truth - and help us to care for people who need to be set free by Your truth, set free

What a difference there is between the love of power and the power of love.

1 Samuel 18:1-20 What a difference there is between the love of power and the power of love. The world is all about the love of power. You, Lord, are all about the power of love. Your power is never power without love. Your love is powerful love. Fill us with Your power - and help us to give glory to You, the God of loving power and powerful love.

Where does victory come from?

Joshua 11:16-12:24 Where does victory come from? Does it come from ourselves? No! It comes from You, Lord. You give us the victory. We give You the glory: "To God be the glory! Great things He has done. So loved He the world that He gave us His Son ... Praise the Lord!"

We thank You, Lord, that victory comes from You ...

Joshua 6:1-27 We thank You, Lord, that victory comes from You - "I have handed Jericho over to you" (Joshua 6:2). Help us to receive Your victory by faith - "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down" (Hebrews 11:30). We don't achieve this victory in our own strength. You give us Your promise of victory. Help us to believe Your promise - to receive the victory as Your gift, to stand upon Your promise and claim the victory that You give to us.

Help us, Lord, to be active for You ... and to wait on You.

Joshua 3:1-17 Help us, Lord, to be active for You - "the people who know their God will be strong and take action" (Daniel 11:32) -  and to wait upon You - "those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength" (Isaiah 40:31). We need both - prayer and action, seeking Your will and doing Your will. Give us wisdom to know Your will, and courage to do Your will.

Help us, Lord, to "give a friendly welcome."

Joshua 2:1-24 Help us, Lord, to "give a friendly welcome" (Hebrews 11:31). What a difference the friendly welcome makes! It's the word of encouragement that makes us feel loved. It's the act of kindness that lets us know that love is more than words. Lord, You are our Father. Help us to be like You - "when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him" (Luke 15:20). What amazing grace! Before the confession of sin - "Father, I have sinned... " (Luke 15:21), there is the friendly welcome. It's Your grace that inspires our confession of sin. It's Your grace that leads us into the joy of Your forgiveness. It's not only joy for us. It's joy for You - "my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate" (Luke 15:24).

We thank You, Lord, that we have Your wonderful promise - "The Lord your God is with you" - as well as Your clear command - "Be strong."

Joshua 1:1-18 We thank You, Lord, that we have Your wonderful promise - "The Lord your God is with you" - as well as Your clear command - "Be strong" (Joshua 1:9). Without Your promise, the command is no use. Again and again, we fail to keep Your commands. Again and again, we need to be reassured. You are still with us. This is what we need to hear. This is where our strength comes from. It comes from Your promise. It comes from knowing that You never fail us. You have never failed us. You never will fail us.

We thank You, Lord, that our determined enemy - Satan - is Your defeated enemy.

Numbers 33:50-34:29 We thank You, Lord, that our determined enemy - Satan - is Your defeated enemy. To us, the devil seems so powerful. In Your eyes, He is defeated - defeated by Jesus, our crucified Saviour and risen Lord. Jesus has triumphed over Satan. He has won the victory for us (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14-15). Lord, Your Word says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 5:7). Will he really flee from us? He flees from Jesus - but, surely, not from us? Have we not forgotten something? - Jesus won the victory for us. He gives His victory to us. Help us to resist the devil - in the victorious Name of Jesus. He will flee from us. Why? Because Jesus is Lord over Satan. It's not us he's fleeing from. It's Jesus. When the devil comes 'knocking on our door', help us to send Jesus to the door - and send him packing!

Lord, You call us to be "soldiers of Christ."

Numbers 31:21-54  Lord, You call us to be "soldiers of Christ" - to "fight the good fight of faith" (2 Timothy 2:3-4; 1 Timothy 6:12). When "the battle is fierce", help us to remember that "the victory is secure. The victory is secure - What a great encouragement this is to us! It encourages us us to keep on going when we feel like giving up. When we feel like we're falling down in the weakness of the flesh, Your victory encourages us to keep on standing in Your strength (Ephesians 6:10-11).

What blessing comes to us when the Holy Spirit comes to us!

Numbers 29:1-40 What blessing comes to us when the Holy Spirit comes to us! We thank You, Lord, for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Before the Holy Spirit can work through - to bring others to Christ, He must work in us - yo make us more like Christ. When, Lord, we pray for blessing, help us to pray for "the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).

We thank You, Lord, that Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, "died for our sins" and was "raised" from death for us.

Numbers 28:1-31 We thank You, Lord, that Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, "died for our sins" and was "raised" from death for us (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Help us to rejoice in "the Good News" (1 Corinthians 15:1) of our Saviour. Help us to hear Your great declaration concerning Jesus - "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). Help each of us to say of Jesus - "This is my beloved Saviour with whom I am well pleased."

Lord, Your Word gives us a much-needed warning: "Don't let the world squeeze you into its mould."

Numbers 25:1-26:22 Lord, Your Word gives us a much-needed warning: "Don't let the world squeeze you into its mould" (Romans 12:2). You're challenging us. You're asking us a very disturbing question - "Are you becoming more like the world or more like the Lord?" This is not only a disturbing question. It's a life-changing question. Answering this question honestly - This is the beginning of a better life, a life that brings more glory to You and more blessing to us, a life more fully in line with the "good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2).

Lord, we thank You for Your Holy Spirit. He leads us to Jesus, our Saviour.

Numbers 24:1-25 Lord, we thank You for Your Holy Spirit. He leads us to Jesus, our Saviour (John 15:26). Help us, Lord, to "hear what the Spirit is saying" to us (Revelation 3:22). He calls us to hear the voice of Jesus - "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him ... "(Revelation 3:20). He calls us to receive us the new life which begins, for each one of us, when we say, "Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Come in today. Come in to stay. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus."

We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus is "the same yesterday and today and forever"

Numbers 20:1-29 We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus is "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). When everything around us seems to be changing, help us to remember that Jesus, our Saviour, is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable in the great love that He has for us and the amazing grace that He shows to us.

We thank You, Lord, for Jesus - Your perfect Son, our perfect Saviour.

Numbers 19:1-22 We thank You, Lord, for Jesus - Your perfect Son, our perfect Saviour. In ourselves, there is sin. In Jesus, there is salvation: forgiveness for our guilty past, power for the challenges of our present - and glory, with You, forevermore.e hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him ... "(Revelation 3:20). He calls us to receive us the new life which begins, for each one of us, when we say, "Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Come in today. Come in to stay. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus."

Lord, we are, so often, dragged down to the world's way of living.

Numbers 16:1-50 Lord, we are, so often, dragged down to the world's way of living. Again and again, we fail to respond to "the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14). We fail to rise to the challenge of walking with You on "the high way of holiness" (Isaiah 35:8). When we rejoice in Your gift of forgiveness, help us, also, to choose the way of holiness. Far too often, Lord, we keep our distance from You. You're calling us into a closer walk with You - but we draw back from You. You're seeking to change us - but we're quite content to stay the way we are. Forgive us, Lord, and deliver us from our self-centredness. Make us the kind of people that You want us to become.

Sometimes, Lord, we wonder, "Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?"

Numbers 14:1-45  Sometimes, Lord, we wonder, "Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?" Help us to hear Your answer - Yes. There is: "I will be with you. I will never leave you" (Joshua 1:5). Strengthened by Your wonderful promises, help us to rise up and face the future with the confidence that comes from knowing that You are leading us on into Your glorious future: "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).