Sunday, 30 September 2018

Like A Roaring Lion!

Daniel 6:1-28

The deliverance of Daniel from the mouths of the lions - What a great miracle this is! It points forward to an even greater miracle - the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Why is the resurrection a greater miracle? - It seemed almost inevitable that Daniel would be killed, but he didn’t actually die. Jesus did die. The shadow of death hung over Daniel, but death did not take him. Jesus was raised from death. He was “crucified, dead and buried” - and, after all that, He was raised to life.
The message of Daniel’s deliverance from the mouths of the lions - “For He is the living God, and He endures forever; His Kingdom will never be destroyed, and His dominion has no end” (Daniel 6:26). This is the message of Jesus’ resurrection.
Daniel’s deliverance gives us a glimpse of God’s glory. Jesus’ resurrection is a marvellous and mighty revelation of the eternal God and eternal life (see 1 John 5:20 - “Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”) Daniel was a great man. Jesus is our great Saviour.
Like Daniel, we will face “lions” - Satan goes about “like a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8). Like Daniel, we must “resist” the devil, firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9). Christ delivers us - and He will raise us.

Fire!

Daniel 3:1-30

Fire - danger, heat
There is, in God’s Word, a word of warning and a word of promise.
This is the way we are not to go. This is the way we are to go.
 * “Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).
 * “The bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).
 * “Our God is an awesome God” (Rich Mullins) - we must never forget this.
Fire is to be respected. Our God is a holy fire. He burns away our dross.
 * “Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire is to be holy, set apart for You, Lord; I choose to be holy, set apart for You, my Master, ready to do Your will” (Brian Doerksen).
 * “O God of burning, cleansing flame, send the fire! Your blood-bought gift today we claim: send the fire today!... We need another Pentecost! Send the fire today!” (William Booth).
This is the inspiring and empowering fire: the Holy Spirit. “Give me oil in my lamp. Keep me burning” - burning for God.
 * Isaiah 43:2 - “You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.”
There were four men in the furnace of blazing fire - Jesus was there: “the fourth was like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25),
We go through many testing times, but we are not alone. Jesus is with us. He’s there with His grace: “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). He calls us to put our faith in Him.
 * In the fiery furnace, the men were burning for God. They weren’t being consumed by the fire. They were shining for God. Their light was calling out to others.
Come to the light. Come to the Lord.
When we look at these men, we must look beyond them to the Son of God. Jesus passed through the “fire” for us. He was forsaken by God so that we might be welcomed by God.

Rivers Of Living Wather - Flowing Into Us And Flowing Out From Us

Ezekiel 47:1-12

“ankle-deep, knee-deep, up to the waist, deep enough to swim in, a river than could not be crossed on foot” (Ezekiel 47:3-5).
Jerusalem - ankle-deep, all Judaea - knee deep, Samaria - up to the waist, the ends of the earth - deep enough to swim in (Acts 1:8)
Before there can be witness, there needs to be worship: from a trickle to a river - John 7:37-39.
The rivers of living water must flow into us before they can flow out from us. “There will be life everywhere the river goes” (Ezekiel 47:9).

The Highway

Jeremiah 31:21-30

“Set your hearts toward the highway; keep the highway in mind” (Jeremiah 31:21) - “the highway of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8):
A call to the “backsliding daughter” (Jeremiah 31:22). “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied” (Proverbs 14:14).
Here’s a breath prayer (breathe in for the first part, breathe out for the second part). It’s based on John 3:30 - “More of You, Lord, less of me.”
“The Lord bless you... mountain of holiness” (Jeremiah 31:23), “the days are coming” (Jeremiah 31:27,31,38): God is looking towards what we will become.
Taking apart the self-centred life; putting together the God-centred life (Jeremiah 31:28).

The Lord Is Reaching Out To Us - In Love.

Much of what we read in Isaiah 16 – 18 concerns divine judgment on the disobedient – Moab – chapter 16, Damascus and Israel – chapter 17, Sudan – chapter 18. In the face of God’s holy judgment upon sin, we must never forget that “He is the God of our salvation, our Rock, our Stronghold” (Isaiah 17:10). God does not wish to pass judgment upon us. He calls us to Himself, that He may be gracious to us (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:17). This is the love of God. His love is everlasting. He reaches out to us, in love, so that we, loving Him, might rejoice in the fact that we are His beloved – “loved with everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Lord, You have blessed us so much. Help us never to forget this.

Joshua 4:1-24
Lord, You have blessed us so much. Help us never to forget this. We look at the world You have made for us - and we say, "Thank You, Lord." We look at the Saviour You have sent to us - and we say, "Thank You, Lord." Why must we keep on remembering You? - We "remember" so that we might learn to fear You (Joshua 4:23-24). We remember so that we may have hope for the future - "times of refreshing" (Acts 3:19).

Lord, we are surrounded by so many enemies ... What are we to do?

Psalm 3:1-6
Lord, we are surrounded by so many enemies. They are Your enemies, enemies of Your Gospel, enemies of Your truth, What are we to do? What can we do? Left to ourselves, we are helpless. Our situation is hopeless – until You come to us with Your love and Your power. You assure us that You love us. You are with us and You lead us in the pathway of holiness and victory. You lead us on the pathway that brings glory to You.

Lord, we thank You that Your way is the best way.

Psalm 1:1-6
Lord, we thank You that Your way is the best way. It’s ‘make up your mind’ time. Every day, we must make up our mind – Will it be the way of the world? Will it be the way of the Word? It cannot be both. It must be one or the other.
Lord, help us to choose Your way. Help us to keep on choosing Your way. May we always know, in our hearts, that Your way is the best way.

New Treasures

“Jesus said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old” (Matthew 13:52).
We are travelling towards “the kingdom of heaven.” As we journey towards God’s Kingdom, He is teaching us many lessons. We are to treasure the lessons which come to us from the Word of God in the power of the Spirit of God. There is nothing more precious than this: “We have received … the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).

First Things First

“Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

First things first! We worry about many things. We get anxious about this, that and the other thing. Jesus is saying to us, “Seek first God’s Kingdom.” Whenever our many anxieties threaten to overwhelm us, let us remember this: The Lord is King!

From religion to revival

Standing upon divine revelation – “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), Jesus received God-given strength for challenging the “bread alone” of human religion – the religion of “the hypocrites” (Matthew 6:2,5,16). Their religion was centred upon themselves. Jesus had this to say about their religion – “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them” (Matthew 6:1). The “hypocrites” added their own ideas to the Word of God – and the power of God’s Word was lost. Jesus shows us the better way – looking to the Lord, listening to the Lord and learning from the Lord. He calls to live a God-centred life: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). He calls us to put God first: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). The difference between Jesus and “the hypocrites” was clear for all to see: “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” (Matthew 7:28-29).
May God raise up, more people, in this generation, whose lives will be centred on God and grounded in His Word – rebels who will protest against the shallowness of superficial religion, prophets whose lives will point beyond religion to revival.

Temptation And Victory

When the tempter comes, we must stand on God’s Word: ‘every Word that comes from…God’ (Matthew 4: 4).

Don't Build On Shifting Sand. Build on Christ.

As well as Peter’s three denials, we have three wonderful statements which point us away from Peter, in his failure, to Christ, who is the Rock of our salvation.
(a) “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).
(b) “This Jesus, God has raised up and “made both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:32, 36).
(c) “Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone. To you who believe, He is precious” (1 Peter 2:4-7).
Praise God – Our faith is not built on shifting sand. It is built on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the risen Lord, the wonderful Saviour.

God forgives and forgets.

Jeremiah 31:31-40

God forgives and forgets (Jeremiah 31:34). It’s not “God cannot remember.” It’s “God chooses not to remember.” The rebuilding of our life - we are to be “holy to the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:38-40).

The human situation, the divine solution ...

Jeremiah 31:15-20

The human situation, the divine solution
 * “She refuses to be comforted” (Jeremiah 31:15). Often, we dig a hole for ourselves.
 * “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears” - This is what “the Lord” says to us (Jeremiah 31:16).
If anyone else says this to us, we might well say, “It’s all right for you to say that. You’re not suffering like I am.”
God gave His only Son - to die for us. He knows what we’re going through. He’s been there, and He hasn’t forgotten it,
He came out the other side for us - the resurrection.
 * “They shall come back from the land of the enemy; there is hope for your future” (Jeremiah 31:16-17) - “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
How are we to understand our times of suffering?
 * “You disciplined me” (Jeremiah 31:18) - There is a purpose of God in our suffering. “Bring me back, let me come back, for You are the Lord my God” (Jeremiah 31:18) - the story of the prodigal son, your story, my story.
 * “After I had turned away, I repented” - two stages of life.
 * Jeremiah 31:20 - God puts a question to us, and He answers it for us. It is the answer of His love. Don’t stop believing in His love. He’ll never stop loving you. Believe in His Son. Believe in His promises.

They Killed Jesus - But He Didn't Stay Dead!

“Come, let’s kill him” (Matthew 21:38).
From Jesus’ parable, we look to His death. The crucifixion of Jesus has a human explanation: “wicked men put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross” – but that’s not the whole story! In the death of Jesus, we see God’s “plan” of salvation – His eternal plan (Acts 2:23). When Jesus’ enemies thought that they had succeeded, they couldn’t have been more wrong! Jesus’ death was followed by His resurrection: “God raised Him from the dead.” In Jesus’ resurrection, we see His mighty triumph over death: “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him” (Acts 2:24).

Before You Can Be The Lord's Servant, He Must Be Your Saviour.

“Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant … For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43,45).
Do you want to be the Lord’s servant? Remember that He is your Saviour. Do you want to serve the Lord? – You must be saved by Him before you can even begin to serve Him. When we think of Jesus as God’s servant and say, “I will serve God the way Jesus served Him”, we have missed the point of Jesus’ words: “the Son of Man” came ”to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Jesus’ service is defined by the giving of His life as a ransom for many. We can never give our life as a ransom for many. Only Jesus can do that for us. Where does our life of service begin? – It begins at the Cross of Christ. It begins when we say, “I cannot serve You. I can only be saved by You.” That’s where the life of service begins. It begins with being saved by the Lord. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Get things right at this point – and then your life of service is ready to begin.

God Has Revealed Himself ... In Christ.

“Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it” (Luke 10:23-24).
There is a progression, in Scripture, beyond the revelation given to Israel through the Old Testament prophets to the great revelation given in the coming of Jesus Christ to the world. He is greater than all the prophets. He is greater than all the kings. He is the Son of God. He is our Saviour. There is no-one else like Him. There were many prophets. There were many kings. There is only one Saviour – Jesus Christ, the Son of God: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

We thank You, Lord, that You are "the eternal God."

Deuteronomy 33:18-34:12
We thank You, Lord, that You are "the eternal God." You are "our Refuge." You hold us in Your "everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27). This doesn't mean that life will be easy for us - but it does mean that You will be with us -whatever happens, and You'll never let us down. You'll always be there for us. You are "for us" - whatever problems we may have to face, may we learn to say, with triumphant faith, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

We thank You, Lord, for Your amazing love ...

Deuteronomy 20:10-21:23
We thank You, Lord, for Your amazing love - "while we were Your enemies we were reconciled to You by the death of Your Son" (Romans 5:10);  "Once we were no people but now we are Your people; once we had not received mercy but now we have received mercy" (1 Peter 2:10).

Lord, You speak to us Your Word of warning - and Your promise of blessing.

Deuteronomy 27:11-28:24
Lord, You speak to us Your Word of warning - and Your promise of blessing. You call us back from the way of disobedience - and on to the pathway of obedience and blessing. Where does the blessing come from? Does it come from our obedience? No! It comes from Your love. It comes from Your promise. Your love reaches us in our sin. Your blessing increases in us as we learn to turn from our sin and give You first place in our lives.

Lead us, Lord, in the way of true wisdom.

1 Samuel 26:1-25
Lead us, Lord, in the way of true wisdom - "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10). How foolish we are when we choose to go our own way rather than walking in Your way. Help us, Lord, to choose Christ every day - "O happy day, that fixed my choice on Thee, my Saviour and my God ... That vow renewed shall daily hear."

Lord, You have done great things for us. You are still doing great things for us.

Joshua 23:1-16
Lord, You have done great things for us. You are still doing great things for us. You will continue to do great things for us. When we say, "Thank You, Lord, for Your many blessings", help us never to take Your blessing for granted. Help us to keep on living in obedience to Your Word. Help us to see, more clearly, the vital connection between obedience and blessing: Keep the obedience going, and the blessing will keep on coming.

What is to be our attitude to the Sabbath?

What is to be our attitude to the Sabbath?
The best way to develop a proper attitude, a Christian attitude, to the Sabbath is to look, first of all, at Jesus' attitude to the Sabbath.
In a very real sense, the specific question, "What is to be my attitude to the Sabbath?" is included in the broader question, "What is to be my attitude to Jesus?"
As we look Jesus' attitude to the Sabbath, with a view to answering the question, "What is to be my attitude to the Sabbath?", we notice two key features.
  • There is Someone greater than the Sabbath - Jesus (John 5:18). this is the dividing line between a disciple and a Pharisee. A disciple comes to the Saviour. A Pharisee, with all his Sabbath-keeping, does not acknowledge his need of the Saviour.
  • Jesus viewed His whole life as holy to God and wholly to God (John 5:17) for service.
From these two observations about Jesus, we note five further principles concerning the place of the Sabbath in the life of Christian discipleship.
(1) Our essential commitment is to the Lord.
It is the Lord who calls us to be His disciples. Being a Christian is more than mere allegiance to a code of ethics. It is a matter of undivided loyalty to a Person - Christ. There is no such thing as a call to be a Sabbatarian, in some sense that is independent of the call to follow Jesus. Christ's call is the call to be a Christian. It is possible to be a Sabbatarian without being a Christian.The Pharisees promoted Sabbath-keeping (John 5:10), yet they crucified Christ (John 5:16). What about us?
(2) Our attitude to the Lord's Day should be governed by our attitude to the Lord.
Jesus' attitude to His Father was described as "holy" and "wholly" - living holy to God and belonging wholly to God. These principles ought to govern our obedience.
(3) Our attitude to the Lord's Day should not mean a devaluing of other days.
We are bound to obey Christ seven days a week. When Christ said, "I am working", He meant a "seven-day week" job. How we spend Saturday evening may say more about our Christian obedience than how we spend Sunday morning.
(4) Our attitude to the Lord's Day should be governed by Gospel obedience - not legal obedience.
The Pharisee had plenty of obedience. It was all legal obedience. By their words and actions, they made people feel inferior - "Keep on trying, but you'll never be as good as us." This leads to despair. It's bad news - not good news. Jesus was very different from the Pharisees. He brought good news to people. He showed them, love, forgiveness and joy.
(5) Our attitude to the Lord's Day should be one of joy.
When we think of the resurrection of Christ by which we have been brought into the rest of faith, in which we rest seven days a week ( see Hebrews 4:1-10, especially verses 9-10), we can only rejoice.

Lord, without Your help, we are nothing and we can do nothing.

Psalm 5:1-12
Lord, without Your help, we are nothing and we can do nothing. We need You, Lord. We can never be what You call us to be if we don’t come to You and receive strength from You. We come to You in our weakness. It is the weakness of our sin. We come to receive Your strength. It is the strength of Your salvation.

What a joy it is to know that You, Lord, are both the God of great power and the God of great love. You are “ab

Job 36:1-33 
“God is mighty, and does not despise any” (Job 36:5). Lord, You are great in power. You are great in love. How sad it would be if You had great love for us, but did not have the power to save us. How terrifying it would be if You had great power, but had no love, in Your hear, for us. What a joy it is to know that You are both the God of great power and the God of great love. You are “abundant in power.” You “heal the broken-hearted and … lift up the downtrodden.” We think, Lord, about Your great power and Your great love, and we say, “Praise the Lord!” We “sing to You with thanksgiving.” We “make melody to You.” We “sing praises to You” (Psalm 147:1-7).

Lord, Your power is loving power. Your love is powerful love.

Job 37:1-24
“The Almighty is great in power and … He does not oppress” (Job 37:23). Lord, Your power is loving power. Your love is powerful love. We see Your power in Jesus – “He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God through Him” (Hebrews 7:25). We see Your love in Jesus – “I will never turn away any one who comes to Me” (John 6:37). In the world, we see the love of power. It’s a very destructive thing. In Jesus, we see the power of love. Hew uses His power to show us His love. He shows us His love when, through His mighty power, He saves us. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. What a great Saviour He is!

Monday, 24 September 2018

In this earthly life, we will never reach a stage where there will be no more problems, and everything will be just fine.

Job 42:1-17
We read, Lord, about Job being brought close to You, his 'friends' being forgiven by You and everyone being happy about the way things turned out for Job (Job 42:5-11). We wonder, "Is there always a happy ending?" In this earthly life, we will never reach a stage where there will be no more problems, and everything will be just fine. Help us, Lord, to look beyond this earthly life. Help us to catch a glimpse of the "salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." Our suffering will be for "a little while." We thank You, Lord, that Your salvation will be forever (1 Peter 1:5-7). 


Thank You, Lord, for Jesus - Your beloved Son, our wonderful Saviour.

Job 40:15-41:34
"Who can stand before Me?" (Job 41:10). Lord, You put this question to every one of us. There are two answers to this question. The first speaks to us of our sin. The second speaks to us of our Saviour. When, Lord, You speak to us of our sin, it's bad news: "There is no-one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10). When You speak to us of our Saviour, it's Good News. Jesus is "without sin." He is "Your beloved Son with whom You are well pleased." He has "died for our sins" (Hebrews 4:14-16; Matthew 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:3). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus - Your beloved Son, our wonderful Saviour.

We thank You, Lord, that, when You speak to us about our sin, You also speak to us of Your love ...

Job 38:39-40:14
"I am unworthy - how can I reply to You? I put my hand over my mouth ... I have no answer ... I will say no more" (Job 40:3-5). When, Lord, You speak to us about sin - "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", we have nothing to say in our own defence: "every mouth is silenced" (Romans 3:23,19). We thank You, Lord, that, when You speak to us about our sin, You also speak to us of Your love, the death of Christ for our sins, the forgiveness of our sins and the cleansing of our hearts and lives (Romans 5:8; 1 John 1:7-10).

Lord, we do an awful lot of talking about ourselves, and not very much listening to You.

Job 38:1-38
Lord, we do an awful lot of talking about ourselves, and not very much listening to You. When it seems to us that our problems are bigger than Your power, help us to start listening to what Your Word is saying to us. There are many questions for which we have no answers – Why has this happened to us? Why did it turn out this way? Why this? Why that? When, Lord, it seems to be all questions and no answers, help us to remember this: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).

We thank You, Lord, for the Scriptures.

Deuteronomy 4:44-5:33
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.

Lord, living for You is not easy. We have a fight on our hands.

Deuteronomy 7:1-26
Lord, living for You is not easy. We have a fight on our hands. Satan is a determined enemy. Help us to remember that He's also a defeated enemy. When the battle seems to be getting too much for us, help us to remember that we are "kept by the power of God" (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Lord, we are called to fear You - and to love You.

Deuteronomy 6:1-25
Lord, we are called to fear You - and to love You. We tend to think that fear and love are opposites. You teach us something else, something very different. Fear and love belong together. You are the holy God, the God who cannot look upon our sin (Habakkuk 1:13). We fear You. You show us our sin so that we might be brought to Jesus, our Saviour. We come to Jesus. We learn how much You love us - and we begin to love You.

Lord, You call us with Your challenge.

Deuteronomy 1:1-46
Lord, You call us with Your challenge. You call us to make our choice. We are to put the past behind us. We are to press on into the future - with You and for You. We hesitate - and we end up doing nothing. Help us, Lord, to turn from our self-centred ways. Help us to walk with You in Your way - the way of faith, the way of obedience.

Lord, You have saved us.

Deuteronomy 4:1-43
Lord, You have saved us. Help us to serve You. In all our service, may we never forget Your salvation. May we always serve You with "the attitude of gratitude."

Sometimes, Lord, Your blessing seems to be "so near and yet so far."

Deuteronomy 3:1-29
Sometimes, Lord, Your blessing seems to be "so near and yet so far." Help us, Lord, as we seek Your blessing, to remember that it is never our own achievement. It is always Your gift to us. We do not achieve victory in our own strength. You give to us Your victory. When, Lord, we feel like we are in a barren wilderness, help us to remember that the place of testing can become the place of triumph - when we put our trust in You.

The Prodigal Son And The Perfect Son

* Jesus told a story of God’s love – “the story of the prodigal son” (Luke 15:11-32).
* Jesus is the Story of God’s love – His Story is the Story of God’s perfect Son.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Preaching The Word Of The Lord: Isaiah 40:1-11

This sermon was preached on the first Sunday of 2015.
Comfort (Isaiah 40:1) - This comes from God's great faithfulness (Lamentations 3:23). 
In our past, present and future, we see the faithfulness of God- "His mercies never end. They are new every morning" (Lamentations 3:22-23). 
Think of God's faithfulness, and "count your blessings." Think of this, that and the other blessing (good things in your life) - and don't forget to thank Him for the greatest blessing of all: Jesus.
 - The faithfulness if God is summed up in this: "The Word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).    
 - There's a New Testament way of saying this: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
As we move from one year to another year, let's think about the old and the new.
On His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus speaks about the old and the new.
 - He tells us that He didn't come to destroy the Law and Prophets. He came to fulfil them (Matthew 5:17-20). He wasn't setting aside the Old Testament. He was building on it. 
 - He doesn't just repeat what others have said. He brings something new, something fresh. He said, "You have heard that it was said, but I say to you" (Matthew 5:21,27,31,33,38,43).
Build on the past. Move on into the future.
___

More from this sermon -



Learning From The Past

Lead us to Jesus.

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.

Take Your Stand - In The Name Of Christ And The Power Of Christ.

In Matthew 8:1-17, we see Jesus' healing ministry. There are three miracles - healing people who were suffering from "a skin disease" (Matthew 8:1-4), paralysis (Matthew 8:5-13) and "a fever" (Matthew 8:14-15). After these three miracles, we have a more general statement about the ministry of casting out demons (Matthew 8:16-17). This is followed by Matthew 8:18 - "Now, when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He ordered His disciples to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee." Jesus was moving from place to place, taking His ministry to more people.
In Matthew 8:19-34, we learn about discipleship (Matthew 8:19-22), peace (Matthew 8:23-27) and deliverance (Matthew 8:28-34). How sad it is that this chapter ends with these words: "Everyone from the city went to meet Jesus. When they saw Him, they begged him to leave their territory" (Matthew 8:34). If it had ended with the words, "Everyone went out to meet Jesus", we would say, "Wonderful! We want more of this." When this is followed by the sentence, "When they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their territory", we sense that we are in the presence of something solemn, even something sinister. What we have here is the activity of Satan. Even when the Lord is working powerfully, Satan is also at work, seeking to hinder the work of God, creating resistance in the hearts of those who have begun to show an initial interest in Jesus. Satan gets worried. He does everything he can to prevent people moving from seeking to finding. Let us take our stand against Satan. Let us take our stand in the Name of Christ. Let us take our stand in the power of Christ.

Help us, Lord, to turn from ‘the works of the flesh’ and seek ‘the fruit of the Spirit.’

Proverbs 20:1-30 
‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; whoever is led astray by it is not wise’ (Proverbs 20:1). Lord, teach us the truth of these words – before it’s too late! Teach us that there is a better way than the way of drunkenness. It is the way of being filled with the Holy Spirit: ‘Don’t get drunk on wine, which leads to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18). Help us not to ‘live according to the flesh.’ You’re calling us to ‘live according to the Spirit.’ You warn us against making the wrong choice: ‘To set the mind on the flesh is death.’ You show us the way of blessing: ‘To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.’ You say to us, ‘Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.’ Help us, Lord, to turn from ‘the works of the flesh’ and seek ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ (Romans 8:5-6; Colossians 3:2; Galatians 5:19-23).

The Friendship Of The Lord, The Fear Of The Lord

Proverbs 19:1-29 
‘The fear of the Lord leads to life’ (Proverbs 19:23). ‘The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him’ (Psalm 25:14). Lord, we read these words, and we think, ‘What a strange combination – friendship and fear!’ We ask, ‘How can there be friendship where there is fear?’ Here, we have a special kind of friendship – ‘the friendship of the Lord’ – and a special kind of fear – ‘the fear of the Lord’. Why is this friendship and fear so special? It’s because You, Lord, are special! You are the God of perfect holiness – ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.’ Help us to come before You in ‘the fear of the Lord’ – ‘Woe is me! I am undone; I am a man of unclean lips…’. You are the God of perfect love. You He call us into friendship with Yourself – ‘Your guilt is taken away and your sin forgiven’ (Isaiah 6:3,5,7). We rejoice in ‘the friendship of the Lord’. Help us to respect You with ‘the fear of the Lord’.

Help us, Lord, to invite Jesus, Your Son, to be our Saviour and our Friend.

Proverbs 18:1-24 
Lord, we thank You that ‘the fountain of wisdom is an overflowing stream’ (Proverbs 18:4). We read the joyful testimony of Paul: ‘The grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus’ (1 Timothy 1:14), and we say, in our hearts,  ‘This is the “wisdom” we must seek – the wisdom which receives “salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). True wisdom finds its overflowing joy in the Saviour: ‘The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe’ (Proverbs 18:10). We rejoice in Jesus. He is Your Son – ‘You shall call His Name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High’ (Luke 1:31-32). He is our Saviour – ‘You shall call His Name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21). He is ‘the Friend who sticks closer than a brother’ (Proverbs 18:24). Help us, Lord, to be wise. Help us to invite Jesus, Your Son, to be our Saviour and our Friend.

Jesus Is Our Forever Friend.

Proverbs 17:13-28
“A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). Help us, Lord, to look beyond human love and human friendship. Help us to see Jesus. His love is the greatest love. He is our greatest Friend. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. Thank You for His love. He’s our Forever Friend. May we know, in our hearts, that His love is ‘always and forever’ love.

Help us, Lord, to see the light at the end of the tunnel – “the salvation of our souls.”

Proverbs 13:1-11
“The light of the righteous rejoices” (Proverbs 13:9). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Light. He’s “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). In Him, we rejoice (Romans 5:11 – “the blood Of Jesus, Your Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We thank You that, through Jesus, You have “called us out of darkness into Your marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). When, Lord, we’re going through hard times, help us to see the light at the end of the tunnel – “the salvation of our souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9).

Help us, Lord, to live a Godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled life – a life of love.

Proverbs 17:1-12
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.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Don't say, ‘I’ll read God’s Word tomorrow.’ Read His Word today.

Proverbs 22:1-29
‘So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you’ (Proverbs 22:19). Lord, there are many people who say, ‘It’s not for me’. They know that others have been greatly blessed through reading God’s Word. Still, they do not take the trouble to read Your Word for themselves. They can’t be bothered. Receiving God’s blessing doesn’t really matter that much to them. Help us, Lord, not to miss out on Your blessing. Your Word is for every one of us. It’s not just for somebody else. To each one of us, You say, ‘It’s for you – ‘even you’. Some people say, ‘I’ll read God’s Word tomorrow’. When ‘tomorrow’ comes around, they’re still saying the same thing – ‘I’ll read God’s Word tomorrow’! Sadly, their ‘tomorrow’ never comes. They never get round to reading God’s Word. They’re missing out on so much. Help us not to say, ‘I’ll leave it till tomorrow’. Help us to read Your Word ‘today’.

Some things are worth repeating!

Psalm 107:1-43 
Lord, there are some things that are worth repeating! The story of Your amazing grace is worth repeating over and over again - ‘Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress’(Psalm 107:6,13,19,28). The call to praise You is also something we need to hear again and again - ‘Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men’(Psalm 107:8,15,21,31). Help us, Lord, 'consider Your great love.' Help us to ‘give thanks to You’(Psalm 107:43,1). 

Praying Through God’s Word: Isaiah

Isaiah 1:1-31
We thank You, Lord, that You invite us to “come” to You and receive salvation – “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Along with Your promise, there is also Your warning: “if you refuse and rebel … ” (Isaiah 1:18-20). You call us to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. With the Gospel promise, there is also the Gospel warning: “Whoever does not believe is condemned already because he does not believe in the Name of the only Son of God” (John 3:17-18). Help us, Lord, to receive Your “great salvation” – and to remember the Gospel warning: “How shall we escape if we neglect or ignore such a great salvation/” (Hebrews 2:3). 

Isaiah 2:1-22
Lord, You’re calling us to worship You – “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.” You’re calling us to walk in Your ways – “Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:3,5). We’re moving towards the Day when “the pride of men shall be humbled and brought low”, the Day when “the Lord alone will be exalted” (Isaiah 2:11-12,17). How, Lord, are we to get ready for the Return of our Lord Jesus Christ? You’re calling us to keep on worshipping You and walking with You. As we worship You and walk with You, may our pride be humbled, and may our Saviour be exalted.

Isaiah 3:1-26
Lord, You call us to make our choice. Will we follow the way of “the righteous” or the way of “the wicked” (Isaiah 3:10-11)? We recall the words of Jesus: “Enter by the narrow gate … only a few find the narrow gate, the hard way that leads to life. His words are not popular. Many don’t like it when Jesus says, “the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Help us, Lord, to listen to all that Jesus is saying to us – and not only the ‘nice’ things that we like to hear.

Isaiah 4:1-5:17
“Those who are left … will be called holy” (Isaiah 4:3). Lord, we hear worldly people speaking of ‘the holy people who need to learn to live in the real world.’ They speak with contempt. When You, Lord, call Your people “holy”, You speak with affection. You look upon us in love. You tell us that we are special to You. You tell us that we are precious in Your eyes. Lord, You’re calling us to be holy. Help us to look beyond this world, to catch a glimpse of “the things that are unseen and eternal”, and to “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:18; Philippians 3:14).

Isaiah 5:18-6:13
Lord, You reveal Your holiness: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.” In Your holiness, we see our own sinfulness: “I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:3,5). Lord, You are perfectly holy: “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil” (Habakkuk 1:13). When we look at ourselves in the light of Your perfect holiness, we see ourselves as we really are: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Help us, Lord, to confess our sin and pray for your forgiveness: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Help us to hear Your Word of forgiveness – “your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.” Help us to speak our words of commitment – “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:7-8).

Isaiah 7:1-25

We thank You, Lord, that Jesus, Your Son, is “Immanuel” – “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). We look forward to the Second Coming of Immanuel: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them” (Revelation 21:3). When our thoughts turn to the Return of Christ, may we think of His urgent call to faith: “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). Lord, give us strength to “stand firm in our faith”, to “believe and be saved” (Isaiah 7:9; Hebrews 10:37-39).

Isaiah 8:1-22

“Immanuel … God is with us” (Isaiah 8:8,10). Lord, we read these words – and we thank You that Jesus has come to be with us so that we may go to be with Him. He has come from heaven to earth so that we might go from earth to heaven. He died for us so that we might live with Him. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our great Saviour.

Isaiah 9:1-10:4

Lord, we read the words of prophecy – “To us a Child is born, to us a Son is given … ” – and we rejoice in the fulfilment of prophecy – “Today in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you.” What a great Saviour Jesus is – He is our “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 2:11). Lord, this is “Good News of great joy” – for “all the people” and for “all generations” (Luke 2:10; Luke 1:46-50). Thank You, Lord.

Isaiah 10:5-34

“A few, the remaining few of Jacob, will return to the mighty God” (Isaiah 10:21). So few people make time for worshipping You, Lord. Are we to become discouraged? No! We must take encouragement for  Your Word: “The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame” (Isaiah 10:17). Lord, give us grace to “truly rely on” You, “the Lord, the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 10:20), to keep on believing that You will, again, send Your blessing – even in the difficult times when disappointment and discouragement threaten to engulf and overwhelm us.

Isaiah 11:1-12:6

We thank You, Lord, for Jesus Christ – ” a Banner for the nations”, “the Saviour of the world” (Isaiah 11:12′ John 4:42). We thank You that He has “died for the sins of the whole world.” This is “Good News” for “all the world.” It’s a call to receive the “forgiveness os sins.” It’s a call to become His “disciples” (1 John 2:2; Mark 16:15; Luke 24;27; Matthew 28:19). As we look to Jesus, our Saviour, may our personal faith – “I will praise You, O Lord … God is my Salvation … The Lord is my Strength and my Song …” – become our public testimony – making Christ “known among the nations,” telling “all the world! what the Lord has done for us (Isaiah 12:1-2,4-5).

Isaiah 13:1-22

“The Day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty … The Day of the Lord is coming – a cruel Day with fierce anger … “; “When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven … He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord … ” Lord, we read these words, and we wonder, “Is this what lies ahead of us?” We thank You, Lord, that You speak to us of something else, something very much more wonderful – the Day of Christ’s Return, the Day of our salvation: “the Day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marvelled at among all those who have believed” (Isaiah 13:6,9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).Why, Lord, do You speak to us about judgment? Does this have anything at all to do with the Good News of our salvation? you show us, Lord, what we have been saved from – so that we might appreciate more deeply, more truly and more fully, the wonder of Your great salvation. You speak to us Your warning, ‘Don’t let the Day of the Lord “surprise you like a thief” – to bring us to “Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath,” and to lead us on to the Day of “salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4,9; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

Isaiah 14:1-23

We read, Lord, about “the king of Babylon” (Isaiah 14:4) – and we see Satan. He is full of pride – “I will climb to the highest heaven and be like the Most High.” He is fallen – “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer.” He will be brought to nothing – “you will be brought down to the pit f hell … ” (Isaiah 14:12-15). We look at the king of Tyre – and, again, we see Satan – “you were on the holy mountain of God … you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God … your heart was proud … you have come to a dreadful end … ” (Ezekiel 28:12-19). We look beyond Satan (the devil) – and we see Jesus, our great Saviour. By “the authority of Christ,” Satan “has been thrown down.” In Christ, we have the victory over Satan: “they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb … “(Revelation 12:7-12). Thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus – and the great victory over Satan that He has won for us.

Isaiah 14:24-15:9

“My heart cries out for Moab” (Isaiah 15:5). Lord, we read these words – and we catch a glimpse of Your loving heart. You take “no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” You do “not want anyone to perish.” You long for “everyone to come to repentance” (Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9). When, Lord, we look at Your Son, Jesus – our Saviour, we see your loving heart: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:27). When we look at Paul, the Apostle, we see Your loving heart. Paul saw the nation of Israel, turning away from You – and he was filled with compassion: “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart” (Romans 9:2). Help us, Lord, to feel for the lost, to look upon them with Your love, and to long for them to be saved.

Isaiah 16:1-17:3

‘In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a Man will sit on it – One from the house of David…’ (Isaiah 16:5). Lord, we read these words, and we look beyond David – to Jesus, ‘the Son of God’ (Romans 1:4). David was the king of Israel. Jesus is the King of kings. In Jesus, Your Perfect Son, we see Your love and Your faithfulness. Thank You, Lord.

Isaiah 17:4-18:7

‘You have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge’ (Isaiah 17:10). Lord, we find is so easy to forget – and so hard to remember. You have loved us so much. We should remember to say, ‘Thank You, Lord’. Very often, we forget. When Jesus healed ten lepers, only ‘one of them came back’ to say ‘Thank You’. Far too often, we are like ‘the other nine’ (Luke 17:11-19). We forget to thank You for Your love. We take Your love for granted. We should be celebrating. We should be letting You know how much we love You. We forget ‘our first love’ (Revelation 2:4). Help us to let Jesus be our first love, our only love – for the whole of our life.

Isaiah 19:1-20:6

‘The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt My people, Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel my heritage”’ (Isaiah 19:25). ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek… you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28). How, Lord, can people who seem to be opposites be brought together? Jesus Christ brings them together. He breaks down ‘the barrier’. He removes ‘the dividing wall of hostility’. We are brought ‘near’ to one another through ‘the blood of Christ’. Help us, Lord, to come to ‘the Cross’ of Christ. There, at ‘the Cross’, we will find each other. We will discover what it means to be ‘one body’ in Christ (Ephesians 2:13-16). When Satan comes, creating misunderstanding, filling our minds with suspicion  and undermining our hopes of peace, help us to remind him of Your Word, ‘You are all one in Christ Jesus’.

Isaiah 21:1-17

Lord, we live in a situation of conflict. We are at war with the enemy. Satan is Your enemy. Satan is our enemy. Satan is a very determined enemy. Satan is a defeated enemy. ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon…’ (Isaiah 21:9). We read these words,  repeated again in Revelation 14:8; 18:2. You, Lord, are assuring that Satan will not prevail over You and Your people. The victory is Yours, Lord. You give Your victory to us. When the going gets tough, when Satan seems to have the upper hand, Help us to remember this: ‘Fierce may be the conflict, strong may be the foe, but the King’s own army none can overthrow. Round His standard ranging, victory is secure, for His truth unchanging makes the triumph sure’. May we never hesitate to commit ourselves to Christ: ‘Joyfully enlisting, by Thy grace divine, we are on the Lord’s side; Saviour, we are Thine.’

Isaiah 22:1-25

We read, Lord, about ‘the Valley of Vision’ (Isaiah 22:1,5). You are to be our Vision: ‘Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art, Thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping Thy presence my light.’ When we’re down in the valley, the mountain-top experience seems a long way off. What are we to do when everything seems to be hard-going? When there seems to be no way out of the valley, no way back to the mountain-top, help us to keep on ‘looking to Jesus’ (Hebrews 12:1-2). When we’re in the ‘valley’, help us to say, ‘My goal is God Himself, not joy nor peace, nor even blessing, but Himself, my God’. May our ‘valley’ become Your ‘valley of vision’, the place where we are learning to ‘turn our eyes upon Jesus.’

Isaiah 23:1-18

‘Look at the land of the Babylonians, this people that is now of no account!’ (13). We read these words, Lord, and we wonder, “What about our nation? Is there any hope for our nation?” To the nation which turns to You, Lord, You  speak Your promise of blessing – ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord …’ (Psalm 33:12). To the nation which turns away from You, You speak Your warning of judgment – ‘For lack of guidance a nation falls’ (Proverbs 11:14). We must choose. Help us, Lord, to choose to listen to You, to submit our lives to You,, to follow the guidance You have given to us in Your Word.  Your way leads to blessing – ‘Righteousness exalts a nation.’ The way of self leads to judgment – ‘sin is a disgrace to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34). Raise us, Lord, above the way of “the Babylonians” – to the better way, the way that brings glory to You:  ‘They will see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven’ (Matthew 5:16).

Isaiah 24:1-23

‘They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord, exalt the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: “Glory to the Righteous One”’ (Isaiah 24:14-16). Lord, this is such a beautiful picture of a land that is enjoying Your blessing, praising You and giving glory to You. Looking around us, we see a very different picture – ‘The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws… therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt’ (Isaiah 24:5-6). Can the dark picture of sin and guilt be turned into the brighter picture of salvation and rejoicing? Lord, You are ‘able to do so much more than we can ask for, or even imagine’ (Ephesians 3:20). Help us, Lord, to be bold – and keep on praying that You will send revival in our time.

Isaiah 25:1-26:9

‘O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your Name… You have done marvellous things’ (Isaiah 25:1). We remember what You, Lord, have done for us. You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour. We rejoice in Jesus. He died for us. We rejoice in Jesus. He rose again for us. We look forward to His Return. We look forward to the Day when You, Lord, ‘will swallow up death for ever.’ On that Day, ‘the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces.’ On that Day, we will look back and say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us.’ On that Day, we will ‘rejoice and be glad in Your salvation’ (Isaiah 25:8-9). Here and now, help us to ‘trust in’ You. May we know that we can trust in You ‘for ever.’ You are ‘the everlasting Rock’ – ‘the Rock of our salvation’ (Isaiah 26:4; Psalm 95:1).

“This is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us …Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation” (Isaiah 25:9). 
Lord, we remember what You have done for us. We remember Your  Son, Jesus Christ. We rejoice in Him. He died for us. He rose again for us. We look forward to His Return – the Day when ‘He will swallow up death for ever.’ On that Day, Lord, You ‘will wipe away the tears from all faces.’ On that Day, we will say, ‘Lord, You are our God; we have trusted in You, and You have saved us.’ On that Day, we will ‘rejoice and be glad in Your salvation.’ Here and now, may we learn to trust in You. May we know that You are ‘the everlasting Rock’ – ‘the Rock of our salvation.

Isaiah 26:10-27:13

We thank you, Lord, that Jesus is our Saviour – ‘Lord, You establish peace for us’; ‘We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’. We cannot save ourselves. We can only look away from ourselves to Jesus – and be saved by Him: ‘all that we have accomplished You have done for us’; ‘By grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God’ (Isaiah 26:12; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8). We thank You that Jesus is our Lord – ‘Lord, our God… You alone are our Lord’. How are we to live once we have received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? – ‘Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him’. Help us not to ‘keep on sinning so that You, Lord, can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness.’ Help us to live a life of ‘good works’ (Isaiah 26:13; Colossians 2:6; Romans 6:1; Ephesians 2:10).

Isaiah 28:1-22

We thank You, Lord, that Your Son,  Jesus Christ, is ‘the precious Cornerstone’. He is ‘the sure Foundation’ (Isaiah 28:16). Jesus is the Name of our salvation – ‘Salvation is found in no-one else… there is no other name… by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:10-12). There is only one ‘Foundation’ for our faith – ‘Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 3:11). He is the ‘chosen and precious Cornerstone’ – ‘to you who believe, this Stone is precious’ (1 Peter 2:6-7). Help us, Lord, to build our life on Christ, ‘the solid Rock’ – ‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; no merit of my own I claim, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name. When weary in this earthly race, I rest on His unchanging grace… When earthly hopes are swept away, He will uphold me on that Day. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand’ (Matthew 7:24-27).

Isaiah 28:23-29:16

‘The wisdom of the wise will perish’ (Isaiah 29:14). As, Lord, we read these words, may we know that there is another ‘wisdom’, a ‘wisdom’ which shall not perish, a ‘wisdom’ which is ‘wiser than man’s wisdom’. Christ is ‘the Wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24-25). May we know that, with Christ as our Saviour, we ‘shall not perish.’ Through faith in Him, we receive the ‘wisdom’ which brings ‘salvation’ (John 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:15). He is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life’ (John 14:6). He is the Way to true wisdom. He is the Truth upon which true wisdom is based. He is the Life which is based on true wisdom. He is true Wisdom. Help us, Lord, not to seek wisdom apart from faith in Jesus Christ  – ‘the world did not know God through wisdom.’ May we know that there is one true wisdom which does ‘not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God’ – faith in ‘Christ crucified’ (1 Corinthians 1:21-23; 2:1-5).

Isaiah 29:17-30:17

‘In returning and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, “No!”’ (Isaiah 30:15-16). Lord, You want to bless us. You want to be our ‘salvation.’ You want to be our ‘strength.’ How do You bless us? How do You become our ‘salvation’? How do You become our ‘strength’? We must want Your blessing. We must want Your ‘salvation.’ We must want Your ‘strength.’ We must return to You and rest in You. We must quietly listen to Your Word, putting our trust in You. There is no ‘salvation’ without ‘returning and rest.’ There is no ‘strength’ without ‘quietness and trust.’ You, Lord, do not force Yourself upon us. We can say, ‘No! I will have none of it’. You want to bless you. Help us, Lord, to say, ‘Yes, Lord! I want You to be my “salvation.” I want You to be my “strength.”’

Isaiah 30:18-31:19

‘Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!’ (Isaiah 31:1). Lord, we can so easily forget You. We try to go it alone, and we forget to look to You for help. Even when we forget You, You do not forget us. When we turn our back on You, You call us to ‘return to You’ (Isaiah 31:6). You remind us that our true help is found in You: ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth’ (Psalm 124:8). We need not look around here, there and everywhere for an answer to the question, ‘Where does my help come from?’ There is only one true answer to this question: ‘My help comes from You, Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth’ (Psalm 121:1-2). Thank You, Lord, that You are our God – our Maker and our Helper.

Isaiah 32:1-20

‘Abandoned… deserted… a wasteland…’ (Isaiah 32:14). Lord, we read these words, and we wonder,”Can such a desperate situation be turned around?” Your answer is “Yes!” – When ‘the Spirit is poured upon us from on high… the wilderness becomes a fruitful field’ (Isaiah 32:15). Help us not to lose heart. May we keep on calling on You. Help us to keep on believing that You, Lord, are able to turn things around. When the situation seems hopeless, help us to put our trust in You,  ‘the God of hope.’ Help us to keep on praying that You will send Your blessing: ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope’ (Romans 15:13).

Isaiah 33:1-24

‘O Lord…Be our strength every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble’ (Isaiah 33:2). Help us, Lord, not only to pray to You ‘in the time of trouble.’ Help us to pray to You ‘every morning.’ May we not keep You at a distance, calling on You only when things are going badly. When we keep You at a distance, our life tells its own sad story – ‘O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear – all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’ When we draw near to You, Lord, You draw near to us, and everything becomes very different – ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!’ (James 4:8). Lord, let Your  ‘love’ come to us ‘new every morning’ – ‘fresh as the morning , as sure as the sunrise’ (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Isaiah 34:1-17

Lord, You call us to ‘draw near’ to You. You want us to ‘pay attention’ to You. Help us to ‘listen’ to His Word (Isaiah 34:1). Your Word is not always what we want to hear. It will always be what we need to hear. ‘The Lord is angry with all nations’ (Isaiah 34:2). We don’t like to hear about Your anger. We prefer to be told ‘You’re doing fine.’ We need to hear about God’s anger. We need to hear about how far we have wandered away from God – ‘We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us turned to his own way.’ We are sinners. We have turned away from You, Lord. We have chosen our own way rather than Your way. We must hear this ‘bad news’ before we can really appreciate the ‘Good News’ – ‘the Lord has laid all our sins on Jesus’, ‘Christ died for us while we were still sinners’, ‘Christ died for our sins’ (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3).

Isaiah 35:1-10

What blessings are given to those who draw near to You, Lord – ‘Your God… will come and save you’ (Isaiah 35:4). The Good News of Christ comes to us as a call to faith – ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’ (Acts 16:31). We have been saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot remain the same. You have called us to live a new life. You call us to travel on the Your ‘highway’ – ‘the Way of Holiness’ (Isaiah 35:8). This is ‘the Way’ which leads to ‘everlasting joy’ (Isaiah 35:10). This ‘Way’ is so different from the world’s way. The world has no time for those who seek to live a holy life. Help us to remember what Jesus says about the world’s way of life: ‘the gate is wide and the way is wide that leads to destruction’ (Matthew 7:13). Whatever the world may say, may we never forget this: ‘Without holiness, no-one will see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14).

Isaiah 36:1-37:20

We read, Lord, about Hezekiah, facing a very powerful enemy – ‘Sennacherib, king of Assyria’ (Isaiah 36:1). We read his prayer for deliverance – ‘O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand’. He prays for salvation – ‘O Lord our God, save us…’ (Isaiah 37:20). We face an even more powerful enemy – Satan, ‘the ruler of this world’, ‘the god of this world.’ We pray for deliverance. We look to You, Lord, for salvation. Help us to pray with faith in Jesus Christ. Satan ‘has no power over’ Jesus. When Jesus was ‘lifted up from the earth’ (crucified), He won a mighty victory over Satan. Jesus died for us so that Satan, ‘the ruler of this world’ might be ‘cast out.’ We thank You, Lord, that Satan’s power is broken when ‘the light of the Gospel of  the glory of Christ’ shines ‘in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the faceworld’, ‘the god of this world.’ We pray for deliverance. We look to You, Lord, for salvation. Help us to pray with faith in Jesus Christ. Satan ‘has no power over’ Jesus. When Jesus was ‘lifted up from the earth’ (crucified), He won a mighty victory over Satan. Jesus died for us so that Satan, ‘the ruler of this world’ might be ‘cast out.’ We thank You, Lord, that Satan’s power is broken when ‘the light of the Gospel of  the glory of Christ’ shines ‘in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’ (John 14:30;12:31-33; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

Isaiah 37:21-38:8

“Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here… By the way that he came he will return… I will defend this city to save it” (Isaiah 37:33-35). This, Lord, was Your answer to Hezekiah’s prayer for salvation. What a great God You are! You are the God of our salvation. You will answer our prayer for salvation. You love us: ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…’. Your Son, Jesus, died for us: ‘God made Him who knew no sin (Christ) to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God’. Jesus promises to receive all who come to Him for salvation: ‘I will never turn away anyone who comes to Me’ (John 3:16; 6:37; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Thank You, Lord.

Isaiah 38:9-39:8

‘The Lord will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our life in the House of the Lord’ (Isaiah 38:20). Lord, we hear many people saying, ‘I can be a Christian without going to Church.’ You’re teaching us  something very different. You’re showing us that believing in You leads to worshipping You.. It doesn’t make sense. for us, to say, ‘I believe in You, Lord’ but  I’m not interested in worshipping You.’ We believe in Jesus. He has saved by us. We Have received a new Spirit of worship: ‘God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Father, my Father!”’ (Galatians 4:4). Help us, Lord, never to rest content with being believers without also being worshippers.

Isaiah 40:1-31

‘The Lord is the everlasting God… He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak… those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…’ (Isaiah 40:28-31). Far too often, Lord, we say, ‘I can’t’ when we really mean ‘I won’t’. ‘I can’t’ – This, Lord,  is an insult to Your power of God. You call us to do something special for Him. We say, ‘I can’t’. What are we really saying? We’re saying – ‘Lord, I don’t believe Your promise – “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”’. Help us, Lord, to stop saying, ‘I can’t’. Help us not to get so busy with other things that we fail to wait upon You, Lord, and renew your strength. When You call us to serve Him, help us to say, ‘Yes, Lord, I will wait upon You. I will renew my strength. I will do Your will’.

Isaiah 41:1-29

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you… I am the Lord your God who… says to you, Do not fear; I will help you… I Myself will help you, declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel’ (Isaiah 41:10-14). When, Lord, we have something important to say, we repeat ourselves. We want to make sure that our message gets across. We say, ‘Do you get the point? Do you see what I mean?’ This, Lord, is what You are doing. Three times, You say, ‘I will help you’. You want us to get the point. You  want to leave us in no doubt. You want us to be sure of this: ‘I will help you’. You don’t want us to go around thinking, ‘I wonder if God will help me?’ You really do want to help us. You say it once. You say it twice. You say it three times: ‘I will help you’. Thank You, Lord.

Isaiah 42:1-25

‘Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, my Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations’ (Isaiah 42:1). Lord, these words turn our thoughts towards Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. At His baptism, we hear Your voice – ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased’. At His baptism, we see ‘the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on Him’.  Jesus is the fulfilment of Your Word of prophecy: ‘All mankind shall see the Saviour sent from God’. After His resurrection, we hear Jesus Himself speaking. He says, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…’ (Matthew 12:15-21; 3:16-17; 28:18-20; Luke 3:6). Help us, Lord, to bring Christ to the nations. Help us to serve You in the power of the Spirit.

Isaiah 43:1-28

‘I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour… I am the Lord, apart from Me there is no saviour’ (Isaiah 43:3,11). Lord, these words turn our thoughts towards Jesus, our Saviour. The Name of Jesus is the Name of our salvation: ‘Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved’

Isaiah 44:1-28

‘I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants’ (Isaiah 44:3). Lord, we hear You speaking to us of  the mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost – ‘They were all filled with the Holy Spirit…’ (Acts 2:4). We thank You for the Spirit. He brings ‘streams of living water’ into our lives. We thank You for the Spirit. He sends ‘streams of living water’, flowing out from us to others (John 7:37-39). Help us, Lord, to ‘be filled with the Spirit’. ‘Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ’ – May our lives be full of praise to You: ‘filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18-20).

Isaiah 45:1-25
‘I am the Lord… I will strengthen you’ (Isaiah 45:5). How, Lord, do You strengthen us? You strengthen us with salvation. You come to us as our ‘God and Saviour’.  You call us to come to You and receive salvation: ‘Turn to Me and be saved…’. Through faith in Christ, we are ‘saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation’ (Isaiah 45:15,17,21-22). We are strengthened with ‘everlasting salvation’. We look ahead to Christ’s Return ‘in power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). We thank You, Lord, that, on that Day, the glory of Jesus, our Saviour, will be fully revealed: ‘At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father’. Jesus is our Saviour. His ‘Name is above every name’. We thank You that our ‘strength’ comes from Him (Isaiah 45:23-24;  Philippians 2:10-11).

Isaiah 46:1-47:15

‘I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me… I am bringing My righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed’ (Isaiah 46:9,13). We thank You, Lord, that You don’t keep Your distance from us. You come near to us – ‘The Word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the Word of faith which we preach). God does not delay His salvation. He comes to us with His promise: ‘If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’ (Romans 10:8-9). Jesus is the Word of God. He is our Saviour. He is our Lord (John 1:1,14; 20:28,31). Help us, Lord to worship Jesus. He is ‘the Holy One of Israel’. He is ‘our Redeemer’. ‘The Lord Almighty is His Name’ (Isaiah 47:4). ‘O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord’.

Isaiah 48:1-22

‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go’ (Isaiah 48:17). Lord, You know what’s best for us. You help us to say, ‘As for God, His way is perfect’ (Job 23:10; 2 Samuel 22:31).How do You help us to see that Your way is best? You invite us to consider Your love. We are to think about all that You have done for us – ‘the mercies of God’. You call us to dedicate our lives to You – ‘present your bodies, as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God’. Dedicating our lives You, Lord – This is ‘our ‘spiritual worship’. We are not to live for this world – ‘Do not be conformed to this world’. We are to live for the Lord – ‘be transformed by the renewal of your mind’. ‘God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect’. May we learn this for ourselves as we learn to dedicate our lives to You (Romans 12:1-2).

Isaiah 49:1-26

‘I, the Lord, am your Saviour, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob’. Help us, Lord, not to keep this to ourselves. You want ‘all mankind’ to ‘know’ (Isaiah 49:26). ‘Jesus, the Name to sinners dear, the Name to sinners given, it scatters all their guilty fear, it turns their hell to heaven’ – This is not something to keep to ourselves. We must make Christ known to others – ‘Oh, that the world might taste and see the riches of His grace! The arms of love that compass me, would all mankind embrace. His only righteousness I show, His saving truth proclaim: ‘tis all my business here below to cry: “Behold the Lamb!”. Happy, if with my latest breath I may but gasp His Name: preach Him to all, and cry in death: “Behold, behold the Lamb!”’ (Mission Praise, 385). Help us, Lord, to be obedient to Your call to ‘go into all the world and preach the Good News’ (Mark 16:15).

Isaiah 50:1-51:8

‘The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught’ (Isaiah 50:4). Help us, Lord, to listen to You. Help us to speak for You. Teach us that we cannot speak for You unless we are listening to You. Before we can speak for You, we must speak to You. We must pray, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3:9-10). Listening to You, Lord, comes before speaking for God. First, we wait on You – ‘I waited patiently for the Lord’. Then, we witness for You – ‘He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God’. Waiting on You, Lord, and witnessing for You, we will win others for You – ‘Many  will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord’ (Psalm 40:1-3).

Isaiah 51:9-23

‘Awake, awake!… O arm of the Lord; awake, as in days gone by… The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them… I am the Lord your God… I have put My words in your mouth…’ (Isaiah 51:9,11,15-16). Teach us, Lord, to pray for revival in this generation. Help us to pray for a revival of joyful worship and a revival of powerful preaching. Where will revival come from? It comes from You, Lord. You hear the prayers of His people – ‘Awake, awake!… O arm of the Lord; awake, as in days gone by’. You answer the prayers of His people – ‘The ransomed of the Lord will return… Gladness and joy will overtake them’. Revival comes when You send Your Word of power – ‘I am the Lord your God… I have put My words in your mouth’.

Isaiah 52:1-12

We thank You, Lord, for Your ‘Good News’ – Help us to ‘shout for joy’. As we receive ‘Good News’from You, may we sing ‘songs of joy’. We thank You for the Good News of Your reign – ‘Your God reigns’ and the Good News of our redemption – ‘The Lord has redeemed’ us. Help us not to keep the Good News to ourselves. This ‘news of happiness’ is to be shared with everyone. May we let ‘all the ends of the earth see the salvation of our God’. ‘Christ died for our sins’ – This is Good News. Christ was ‘raised on the third day’ – This is Good News. ‘Jesus is Lord’ – This is Good News. This is the Good News we must ‘pass on’ to others. In our world, Lord, there is so much bad news. Help us not to let the Good News be drowned out by the bad news. Help us to make sure that the people hear the Good News – loud and clear (Isaiah 52:7-10; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Mission Praise, 249).

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

We thank You, Lord, that You have given to us words of prophecy, wonderful words that point us to Jesus Christ, crucified for us – ‘the Lord has laid all our sins on Him’ – and risen from the dead – ‘After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life’ (Isaiah 53:6,11). ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’ (Mission Praise, 745). We might put this question to Isaiah. In one sense, he wasn’t there. He lived long before the time of Christ. In another sense, he was there. You, Lord, opened his eyes. You gave him a glimpse of what was going to happen in the future. ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’ In one sense, we weren’t there. These things happened long before we were even born. In another sense, we were there. It was our sins which Christ took with Him to the Cross. It was our sins which He left behind Him when He rose from the dead (Romans 4:25). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our Saviour. Thank You for all that He has done for us.

Isaiah 54:1-17
Lord, You are not only ‘the Holy One of Israel’. You are ‘the God of the whole earth’ (Isaiah 54:5). We thank You that the Gospel is for ‘all nations’. The ministry of Christ’s apostles began in ‘Jerusalem’. We thank You that it did not end there. The Gospel was to be taken ‘to the ends of the earth’ (Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8). Taking the Gospel out from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth was not easy. The apostles faced much opposition. We thank You that they stood upon Your promise: ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper’ (Isaiah 54:17). When, Lord, we face opposition, help us to our stand on Your Word: ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31). Even when our words seem to fall on stony ground, give us the strength that we need to keep on speaking the Word of Your love: ‘With everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer’ (Isaiah 54:8).
Isaiah 55:1-13

Lord, You call us to return to You: ‘Seek the Lord while He may be found…’ (Isaiah 55:6-7). No one seems to be listening. What are we to do? Help us to remember Your promise: ‘My Word will not return to Me empty’ (Isaiah 55:11). We do not see all that You are doing. You are doing much more than we realize – ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts…’ (Isaiah 55:8-9). We may be feeling very despondent – ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything’ (Luke 5:5). You still come to us with His Word of encouragement: ‘You shall go out with joy…’ (Isaiah 55:12). Before there is joy, there may be many tears. When there seems to be nothing but disappointments, help us to remember Your promise: ‘Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy…’ (Psalm 126:5-6). When we feel discouraged, help us not to ‘judge before the time…’ (1 Corinthians 4:5).

Isaiah 56:1-57:10

‘My House will be called a House of prayer for all nations’ (Isaiah 56:7). Lord, You are  gathering Your people together ‘from every tribe and language and people and nation’ (Revelation 5:9). ‘Salvation comes from the Jews’. We thank You, Lord, that it doesn’t end there – ‘The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile (the rest of the world)’ (John 4:22; Romans 1:16). We were ‘foreigners’. Now, we are ‘no longer foreigners…’(Isaiah 56:6; Ephesians 2:19). We thank You that Christ has ‘broken down the dividing wall of hostility’. ‘We are no longer Jews or Gentiles’. ‘We are one in Christ Jesus’. Christ has ‘made the two one’. We thank You that we ‘have been brought near through the blood of Christ’. We are ‘one body’ – Jews and Gentiles brought together ‘through the Cross’ of Christ (Ephesians 2:13-16; Galatians 3:28). Thank You, Lord, for our great Saviour – Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 57:11-58:14

‘To the far and to the near’, Lord, You speak Your Word of ‘peace’ (Isaiah 57:19). Christ is Your  Word of ‘peace’ (Ephesians 2:13-14). Christ is for ‘the Jews’. He is for ‘the Gentiles’. There is one way of salvation. Jesus Christ is our Saviour. Help us to put our ‘faith’ in Him. It’s through Him, Lord, that we have ‘peace with You’ (Romans 3:29-30; Romans 5:1). Your  Word invites us to ‘call upon Your Name and be saved’ (Isaiah 58:9; Acts 2:21). We thank You that, in Christ, there is true ‘joy’ – ‘I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation…’ (Isaiah 58:14; Isaiah 61:10). We rejoice in Jesus Christ. He is ‘the High and Exalted One’. He has come from His ‘high and holy place’. He has become ‘Emmanuel’, ‘God with us’. He is our peace and joy, our Saviour and our God’ (Isaiah 57:15; Matthew 1:21, 23; John 20:28). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. He’s such a great Saviour.

Isaiah 59:1-21

Lord, what are we to do ‘when the enemy comes in like a flood’? Help us to look away from ourselves to Jesus Christ. He has ‘come’ as our ‘Redeemer’. Trusting in Him, we pray that ‘the Spirit of the the Lord will come like a rushing stream’. We pray that ‘the wind of the Lord’ will come sweeping through us with much blessing (Isaiah 59:19-20). In ourselves, there is no blessing – ‘salvation… is far from us’. ‘Our sins have separated us from God’. We need to receive ‘salvation’ from You, Lord (Isaiah 59:11,2,17). May we not delude ourselves. Satan is stronger than we are. We have no hope of victory over Satan – until we put our trust in Jesus Christ. Without Christ, we are helpless and hopeless. With Him, we shall be victorious. He is ‘the Rock of our salvation’ (Matthew 7:24-27; 2 Samuel 22:47; 1 Corinthians 10:4). We thank You, Lord, that, in our battle against Satan, we are not alone. Jesus is with us – every step of the way.

Isaiah 60:1-22

‘Arise, shine; for your Light has come… the Lord will be your everlasting Light’ (Isaiah 60:1,19-20). We thank You, Lord, that Your Son, Jesus Christ is ‘the Light of the world’. When we ‘follow Him’, we ‘will not walk in darkness’. We ‘will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). We are living in difficult times. We are surrounded by much darkness. Help us, Lord, not to become discouraged – ‘the lamp of God has not yet gone out’ (1 Samuel 3:3).  When the darkness threatens to overcome the Light, may we take encouragement from Your Word – ‘The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:5). When the darkness seems to be everywhere, help us to put our trust in the Lord – ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?’ May ‘Your Word’ be ‘a lamp to our feet and a light to our path’ (Psalms 27:1; 119:105).

Isaiah 61:1-11

‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me… to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour’ (Isaiah 61:1-2). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus has fulfilled these words (Luke 4:18-21). Jesus has come, ‘proclaiming the Good News of God’. He tells us that ‘the time has come’. This is the time of opportunity, the time for making our response to Jesus Christ. He calls for our response – ‘Repent and believe the Good News!’ Help us, Lord, to make our response now  – ‘now is the acceptable time… now is the day of salvation’ (Mark 1:14-15; 2 Corinthians 6:2). There will come a time when the time of opportunity comes to an end. When Christ returns ‘with power and great glory’, it will be ‘the Day of vengeance of our God’. We do not know when Christ will return. He calls us to get ‘ready’ for His Return. Help us to put our ‘faith’ in Him (Isaiah 61:2; Matthew 24:30,36,44; 25:13; Luke 18:8).

Isaiah 62:1-12

Lord, You have given us ‘a new Name’. It is ‘the Name which is above every name’, the Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (2; Philippians 2:9-11). Christ loves us. He has given Himself for us. He calls us His ‘Bride’ (Ephesians 5:25-27; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:2,9). We thank You that, through faith in Christ, we have become ‘the Holy People’. Through Him, we are ‘the Redeemed of the Lord’. We have been ‘Sought After’ by the Lord. In Him, we are ‘the City No Longer Deserted’ (Isaiah 62:12; 1 Peter 2:9-9-10; 1:18-19; Luke 19:10; John 14:18).

Isaiah 63:1-19

We thank You, Lord, for Your power. You are ‘mighty to save’. We thank You for Your love. You have shown Your ‘steadfast love’ to us. You have become our ‘Saviour’. ‘In Your love’, You have ‘redeemed’ us (Isaiah 63:1,7-9). What love You have for us – ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…’ (John 3:16)! What power there is in Your Gospel of love – ‘The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes’ (Romans 1:16)! What a ‘Saviour’ we have – Our Lord Jesus Christ is ‘able to save to the uttermost all who come to God through Him’ (Hebrews 7:25)! We think of Jesus Christ. We think of His love, His power, His salvation. We thank You, Lord, for all that Jesus has done for us – ‘Alleluia! What a Saviour!’

Isaiah 64:1-65:12

We confess our sins to You, Lord – ‘We sinned… All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags’. We look to You for forgiveness – ‘Do not remember our sins for ever’ (Isaiah 64:5-6,9). We know that You hear and answer our prayer. Jesus Christ is Your Answer to our prayer. He has ‘come down’ from heaven to earth. ‘The Son of the Most High’ has been ‘born’ into our world. Jesus Christ is Your way of saying ‘Here am I! Here am I!’. He is ‘God with us’ (64:1; 65:1; Luke 1:32,35; Matthew 1:23). ‘The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin’. Help us, Lord, to ‘confess our sins’. ‘The blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin’ – Help us to come to You with faith, believing that You ‘will forgive our sins’. (1 John 1:7,9). May we rejoice in Jesus, our Saviour!

Isaiah 65:13-66:4

Help us, Lord, to see clearly the great contrast between those who belong to Christ – ‘My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts’ – and those who have refused to come to Christ for salvation – ‘You will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit’ (Isaiah 65:14). You are preparing a great future ‘for those who love Him’ – ‘I will create a new heaven and a new earth’. You are calling us away from our sins – ‘Past things will  not be remembered. They will not come to mind’. You are calling us to Your ‘holy mountain’.  How can we enter into our full enjoyment of God’s eternal salvation? Your Word tells us: ‘I will pay attention to those who are humble and sorry for their sins and who tremble at My Word’ (Isaiah 65:17,25; Isaiah 66:2; 1 Corinthians 2:9). Help us to make sure that we belong to Christ. May we put our faith in Him (John 3:18,36).

Keep On Worshipping The Lord.

" And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good works, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the ...