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Showing posts from October, 2018

The Food Of Our God

Leviticus 20:1-21:24 The Lord calls us to be holy – because He is holy (Leviticus 20:26). We are to be like Him. He has set us apart as holy (Leviticus 21:8). We are “dedicated with the anointing oil of our God” (Leviticus 21:12). We may take this “anointing oil” as symbolic of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. We are to “eat the food of our God – what is holy and what is very holy” (Leviticus 21:22). Here, our attention is directed towards Christ, who is our spiritual food – “the Bread of Life” (John 6).

How Long, O Lord?

Psalm 13
The ‘how long’ questions are questions asked by a man who feels that God is far away. These questions must, however, be reversed, if we are to move beyond these feelings into the reality of knowing God. God says, ‘How long?’ The Lord is saying to us, “It doesn’t matter how long. Now is the time for a new beginning.” v.1a: “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?” – Now is the time for forgetting the Lord no longer: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8). v. 1b: ” How long will You hide Your face from me?” – Now is the time for hiding from the Lord no longer: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). These blessings are hidden from those who, in proud arrogance, refuse to come to the Lord – “You have hidden these things from the wise and learned” (Matthew 11:25). They are “revealed” to those who “come” to the Lord with the sincerity and humility of ‘little children” (Matthew 11:25, 28).…

Lord, we’re always making choices ...

2 Kings 14:17-15:22 Lord, we’re always making choices. Sometimes, we make good choices. Sometimes, we make bad choices. Life can be very confusing. We wonder, “What’s for the best? What are we to do?” Show us Your way. Lead us in Your way. Give us the strength that we  need to walk in Your way.

We compare ourselves to other people ...

2 Kings 13:1-14:16 We compare ourselves to other people. We like to think that we’re doing pretty well. What, Lord, do You think about all of this? Are You impressed? You’re saying to us, “What about Jesus? How do you compare to Him? Help us, Lord, to look at Jesus – and see where we need to be changed. Help us to look to Him – and be changed by Him.

Sometimes, Lord, it seems like You are far away from us.

2 Kings 9:1-37 Sometimes, Lord, it seems like You are far away from us. Why do we feel like this? It’s because we have wandered away from You. We’ve allowed something else to come between ourselves and You. Call us back to Yourself, back from the brink, back to a new beginning, back to the blessing that will grow stronger and stronger as we learn to trust You and say, from the heart, “The Lord is God. He is our God. He has blessed us, and we are glad.”

Lord, You speak to us the Word of condemnation ... You also speak to us the Word of compassion.

Deuteronomy 32:19-33:17 Lord, You speak to us the Word of condemnation. You tell us that we are "a perverse generation" You tell us that "You will hide Your face from us" (Deuteronomy 32:20). You also speak to us the Word of compassion - "The Lord will ... have compassion on His servants, when He sees their power is gone" (Deuteronomy 32:26). Help us, Lord, to hear the Word of condemnation - to know that "our power has gone", so that we can hear the Word of compassion, the Word that comes to us in our weakness, the Word that brings us into Your strength - "a new creation in Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Often, Lord, we feel trapped - trapped by our sin.

Exodus 12:29-13:16 Often, Lord, we feel trapped - trapped by our sin. We try to break free - but we can't make it happen. Our sin has such a strong hold on us. We wonder, "Is there a way to freedom?" Jesus says, "Yes. There is." He says to us, "I am the Way to freedom." Set us free, Lord, from our self-centredness. May there be less of self and more of You in our lives.

Truth - And Faith

John 17 - This is such a great prayer. At the heart of it, we have these great words, “Your Word is truth” (John 17:17). True prayer is always grounded in truth. There is a conversation between ourselves and God. God initiates this conversation. From Him, there is revelation. From us, there is response. Revelation comes first. He speaks to us. Then, we speak to Him. In our world, there are many voices. There is one voice which must not be drowned out: the voice of God. “Your Word is truth” (John 17:17).Where does our faith come from? It comes from the Lord. He has spoken to us in His Word. He is still speaking to us. Are we listening to Him? We’re not to come to the Word of God with the attitude that says, “This is true. That’s not true.” On what basis do we say, “This is true. That’s not true”? We may come to some parts of the Bible and say, “That speaks to me.” We may come to other parts of the Bible and say, “That doesn’t speak to me.” What are we saying when we say th…

Great Boldness And Great Blessing - From Our Great Saviour

Peter preached Christ with great boldness: ‘There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’(Acts 4:12). This boldness came from the Holy Spirit. Peter was ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’(Acts 4:8). Don’t say, ‘I‘m no Peter’. Peter failed his Lord and had to be restored (Matthew 26:69-75; John 21:15-17). Peter drew great strength from ‘the company of those who believed’. They ‘gathered together’ for prayer. They ‘were of one heart and soul’…’(Acts 4:31-33). Why did God deal so severely with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)? This was the start of something great. God refused to let His work be spoiled! There is a warning for us: Don’t pretend to be more holy than you really are. God sees what you’re really like. ‘Search me, O God…’(Psalm 139:23-24). There was great blessing: ‘More than ever believers were added to the Lord’(Acts 5:14). There was persecution (Acts 5:17-18). This did not hinder the advance…

A Change Of Direction

Christ brings a change of direction into our life.
This change of direction is described for us in Acts 2:42 -“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Christ is preached. We believe the Gospel. We receive salvation. Life is no longer centred upon ourselves. It is centred upon Christ.

Jesus Is Risen. Jesus Is Lord.

“God raised Jesus Christ from the dead” (Acts 2:24). Did this become true only because a lot of people said that it was true? Has it become false because many people refuse to believe that it’s true? No! It’s God’s great miracle. Death has been defeated. There is hope. Death will not triumph over us. Jesus Christ is Lord.

A Strong Faith? or A Strong God?

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

Salvation, Joy, Victory

Jesus is the way of salvation, joy and victory. Jesus is the way of salvation – Concerning “the Name of Jesus Christ”, Peter tells us that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10, 12).Jesus is the way of joy – Jesus tells us, “In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).Jesus is the way of victory – Paul gives to us this word of encouragement: “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Coming Home

In Luke 15:13, we read of the prodigal son going into the “far country”. In Luke 15:20-22, we read of the joy of his homecoming -“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.”

A New Beginning - Based On What Had Gone Before

Mark 1:1-20
This was a new beginning (Mark 1:1), but it was based on what had gone before (Mark 1:2-3). Those who speak of Jesus Christ, their Saviour, are "voices crying in the wilderness", but their ministry is blessed by the Lord (Mark 1:3,5).   We must  never forget this, and we must pray that we will be like John - pointing away from ourselves to Jesus (Mark 1:7-8). Whatever the world may say, we need more of Jesus, not less of Him. If we're going to have more of Jesus, we need more of the Word of God. How can we get to know, love and serve Jesus better, if we're content with keeping everything shallow?  The Spirit of the Lord descends whenever our chief focus of attention is on God's "beloved Son" (Mark 1:9-11). It will not be easy to keep our attention on Jesus. It wasn't easy for Jesus. It won't be easy for us (Mark 1:12-13). John had been "arrested" (Mark 1:14). Would it be any easier for Jesus? Will it be any easier for us? W…

There is hope.

Hosea 14:1-9

There is hope. There is a future. Hosea 14:9 - Conclusion: This is for us. The only way to live is the Lord’s way. Repentance (Hosea 14:2) - It’s returning to the Lord (Hosea 14:1). It’s more than “words” (Hosea 14:2). It’s a way of life. As we walk with the Lord, we learn about repentance. God speaks to us about forgiveness (Hosea 14:2). In love, He’s speaking to us. He speaks to us from the cross of Christ. The Spirit makes God’s love real to us. He brings Jesus to us. God’s love inspires our thinking and our living. Our whole life is to be an expression of our love for the Lord, a heartfelt response to His love for us - a way of saying, “Thank You, Lord”, a way of offering to the Lord the praise and worship that arises from our hearts. As we worship God, we must remember that He is not only love. He is also holiness. This is to be seen in our “return to the Lord” (Hosea 14:1), our conversion. It’s not to be a partial conversion - paying lip-service to the L…

Return To The Lord ...

Hosea 6:1-3

 * “Let us return to the Lord” (Hosea 6:1). There are many blessings, waiting for us. We must come to the Lord and receive these blessings from Him.  * “He will revive us” (Hosea 6:2). This is new life in Christ. It’s new life in the Spirit. We were dead. Now, we are alive, Glory to God!  * “He will raise us up” (Hosea 6:2) - resurrection, not just a pick-me-up. God must do it. He alone can do it - and He does!  * “He will come to us like the rain” (Hosea 6:3) - “the spring showers that water the land”: This will put a spring in our step. It will send us out, with joy and strength, to serve the Lord and bring others to Him (Psalm 126:5-6).

We sing to You, Lord.

Deuteronomy 31:14-32:18 We sing to You, Lord. We sing our song of praise. It's the song of Your salvation. It's the song that gives glory to You. May our song of praise be more than words. May it be the song that arises from our hearts. May it be the song that comes from lives that are being transformed by Your grace.

Lord, You are not a god who keeps his distance from us.

Deuteronomy 30:1-31:13 Lord, You are not a god who keeps his distance from us. You are not a god who keeps his silence.You come near to us. You speak Your Word to us (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). How do we know that You are near to us? How do we know that You speak Your Word to us? Jesus is "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). He is "the Word made flesh" (John 1:14). Thank You for Jesus - He comes near to us and He speaks to us. Help us, Lord, to treasure His presence and to respond to His Word.

Lord, Your Word speaks to us about the "secret things" and "the things that are revealed."

Deuteronomy 29:1-29 Lord, Your Word speaks to us about the "secret things" and "the things that are revealed" (Deuteronomy 29:29). There are some "things" that we will never understand. These "things" belong to You, Lord. Help us to focus our attention on "the things that are revealed", the teaching that comes to us from "the holy Scriptures", the Gospel which brings us to Jesus, our Saviour - calling us to put our faith in Him and live in obedience to Him (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Why, Lord, do You speak to us the Word of warning and the promise of blessing?

Deuteronomy 28:25-68 Why, Lord, do You speak to us the Word of warning and the promise of blessing? There is a good way to which we must turn - and there's also a bad way from which we turn. How can we really appreciate and embrace the good way if we do not see the clear contrast between the good way and the bad way? Help us, Lord, to choose the good way - to choose Jesus, who is "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6).

Show us, Lord, what we really are - without You.

Deuteronomy 23:1-25 Show us, Lord, what we really are - without You. Make us, more truly and more fully, what You want us to become - by Your saving grace. Fill us with Your holiness - and fill us with Your love. You've lifted us out of our sin and into Your salvation. This is Your doing. It's not our own achievement. we're called to be Your holy people - but we dare not imagine that we're better than everyone else. We're set apart for You - but we must never forget that we'll never be anything more than sinners, saved by Your grace. Your love has reached. Your love changes us. Make us more like Jesus - walking with You on the pathway of holiness and reaching out, in love, to others, inviting them to receive the Saviour's love and respond to His call: "Follow Me" (Matthew 4:19).

A Great Future!

Daniel 7:13-14

What a future God has planned for His people. What a great future He is planning for His people. Coronation - What a day of celebration. This is better than any human coronation. It’s better than any human celebration. When Christ comes, this will go beyond our ability to describe or even imagine: the great Kingdom - full of the glory of God; the great Saviour - full of the grace of God. Christ takes us from grace to glory. In Matthew 26:75, we see what Peter was. In Acts 2, we see what He became. This is grace, calling us on to glory.

Those who fear You, Lord, have no need to live in fear of man.

Psalms 111:1-112:10 'Praise the Lord... To Him belong eternal praise... Blessed is the man who fears the Lord... His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes...'(Psalm 111:1,10; Psalm 112:1,8). Those who 'fear' You, Lord, have no need to live in fear of man. Those who know that ‘eternal praise’ belongs to You, Lord, can face their enemies with confidence. Our confidence is not in ourselves. Our confidence is You. We know how good You have been to us - ‘He provided redemption for His people’. We thank You that we have heard and believed the Good News of Christ. We need not ‘fear’ any ‘bad news’ which the devil sends our way. We 'trust' in You, Lord, confident that the ‘light ‘will triumph over the ‘darkness’. We thank You that the Good News of Christ will triumph over the devil’s bad news (Psalm 111:9; Psalm 112:4,7).

Help us, Lord, to thank You for Your past blessings, and to trust You for Your future blessings.

Psalm 81:1-16 “Sing aloud to God; shout for joy to the God of Jacob” (Psalm 81:1). Teach us, Lord, to worship You with joy. You have blessed us in the past: “I am the Lord your God, who brings you out of the land of Egypt.” You will bless us in the future: “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10). Help us, Lord, to thank You for Your past blessings, and to trust You for Your future blessings.

Lord, You did great things for Israel. You do great things for us.

Psalm 78:40-72 Lord, You led Your people out of Egypt, through the desert and into Your “holy land” (Psalm 78:52, 42-43,51,54-55). You did great things for Israel. You do great things for us – “You restore our soul. You lead us in the paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). We thank You, Lord, for Your many blessings – “peace with God”, standing in Your “grace”, “our hope of sharing the glory of God”, “Your love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:1-5).

If We Are To Be True Followers Of Jesus ...

"Be careful! Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!" (Matthew 17:6),. even after there us divine revelation (Matthew 16:17), the influence of evil can be felt (Matthew 16:23), The warning - "Be careful! Watch out ... !" must never be forgotten. Satan is looking for an opportunity to leads us away from the Lord. We must hear what Jesus is saying to us about discipleship (Matthew 16:24), and we must commit  ourselves to Him (Matthew 16:25). There is nothing more important than this (Matthew 16:26). If we are to be true followers of Jesus, we must learn to live our lives in the light of eternity (Matthew 16:27). We are to seek revelations of God's eternal Kingdom, revelations which will send us back, from the mountain-top, to live each day for Jesus.

Preaching God's Word: Matthew's Gospel

A Journey with Christ (Matthew 1:5-6; John 8:1-11)(1) Christ’s Journey through history Before we even reach the opening chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, the Old Testament proclaims this message of hope: Christ is coming. The journey through the Old Testament  paves the way for the coming of Christ. The first 17 verses of Matthew’s Gospel gives us a brief outline of Old Testament history as a preparation for the coming of Christ. These verses present us with a family tree. It’s not particularly interesting reading. For this reason, these verses are often overlooked. There are, however, important lessons which we must not miss! Here are two interesting names in Christ’s family tree - Rahab (Matthew 1:5) and Solomon (Matthew 1:6). Who was Rahab? - a prostitute! Who was Solomon? - a child born out of an adulterous relationship! How did they get into Christ’s family tree? Was there some kind of mistake? - No! It must be stresses that the names of Rahab - a - prostitute - and Solomon - the child…

The Message of Numbers

Numbers is the fourth book of (i) the Pentateuch; (ii) the Old Testament; and (iii) the Bible.

(i) Numbers is the fourth book of the Pentateuch. It follows on from Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus. It is followed by Deuteronomy. The word, ‘Pentateuch’, is a Greek word. It means ‘five books’. In the Pentateuch, there are five books – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. To understand Numbers, we must go back to Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus and we must move beyond Numbers to Deuteronomy.

Genesis is ‘the book of beginnings’. It tells us about the beginning of creation (chapters 1-2). It tells us about the beginning of sin (chapter 3). It tells us about the beginning of salvation. In 3:15, we have the first promise of the Saviour.

Following the flood of judgment and the ark of salvation (chapters 6-9), the story moves on to God’s choice of Abraham. God’s promise was given to Abraham – ‘I will make of you a great nation’ (12:2). The nation of Israel, to whom the book of Numbers …

Some thoughts on preaching

“The bigger the truth we try to speak the smaller the words we should use, and the shorter the sentences” (Ian Pitt-Watson).
Good preaching does its hearers good. Our concern is not to impress people with our eloquence. Our goal is to direct attention away from ourselves to the Saviour. We should aim to be simple, sincere and spiritual.

God Loves Us. He Calls Us To Be His Faithful People.

Malachi 1:1-2:17  –  God looks upon us in our sin. What does He see? He sees ‘the Wicked Land. He sees ‘a people always under the wrath of the Lord’ (1:4). He looks at what Christ has done for us – ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’; ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’; ‘Christ died for our sins’ (1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3). God looks upon us in Christ – and everything is so very different: ‘God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21). There, at the Cross of Christ, we hear God’s Word of love – ‘I have loved you’; ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (1:2; Jeremiah 31:3).    Malachi 3:1-4:6  –  God calls us to be His faithful people. He says, ‘Return to Me’. He promises to bless those who return to Him: ‘I will return to you’. God calls us to honour Him with our ‘tithes and offerings: ‘Bring the whole tithe (tenth) into the storehous…

Saved By The Lord, Let Us Serve Him.

Salvation and service
* Salvation leads to service.
Those who have been saved by the Lord are to serve Him.
* Service arises out of salvation.
When we serve the Lord, we must never forget that we have been saved by Him.
* What God must do for us – He must save : “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).
* What we must do for God – We must serve: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).

Jesus is “the light of the world” (John 8:12).

Life without Christ is very different from life with Christ. He is “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). When Christ shines His light into our hearts, the whole of life is so much brighter than it could ever be without Him. We could compare the world to a jigsaw. We don’t see the complete picture until we have all the pieces in place. For many people, Christ is “the missing piece.” He’s not just one small missing piece that doesn’t really matter very much if it’s not there. He is the Centre of everything. Take Him away, and everything else looks very different. Put Him in His proper place, at the centre of our life, and we begin to see the complete picture. Everything is centred on Him. When we see the whole of life in relation to Christ, our whole life starts to make sense in a way that it doesn’t when Christ is taken out of the picture.

We thank You, Lord, that "we do not live by bread alone."

Deuteronomy 8:1-9:21 We thank You, Lord, that "we do not live by bread alone" (Deuteronomy 8:3). We need bread for the body. We also need Jesus, the Bread of Life (John 6:35). Help us, Lord, not to become too easily satisfied by the things of this world. Help us never to forget that we need Jesus. Without Him, there will always be something missing. With Him, there will be a new - eternal - sense of meaning, purpose and direction.

Help us, Lord, to listen to You and live for You, to speak to You and speak for You.

Deuteronomy 9:22-10:22 Help us, Lord, to listen to You and live for You, to speak to You and speak for You. Help us to receive from You and respond to You. Help us not to get caught up in the "What do I get out of it?" way of thinking. Help us to ask the more important question: "How can I give myself more fully to You, Lord?"

Lord, You call us to belong to You.

Deuteronomy 14:22-15:23 Lord, You call us to belong to You. This is wonderful. It makes our hearts glad. You also call us to serve You. We're not to remain what we were before we became Your redeemed people. We're to be renewed - "beholding the glory of the Lord, we are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another" (2 Corinthians 3:18).

By Your grace, Lord, You call us to be Your soldiers and servants.

Deuteronomy 19:1-20:9 By Your grace, Lord, You call us to be Your soldiers and servants. Help us not to be "fearful and fainthearted" (Deuteronomy 19:19). Help us to be "good soldiers of Jesus Christ" (2 Timothy 2:3). When we hear your challenging question: "Who is on the Lord's side?", may we give our committed answer: "By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine, we are on the Lord's side; Saviour, we are Thine."

Lord, we are surrounded by so many temptations.

Exodus 13:17-14:31 Lord, we are surrounded by so many temptations. We cannot avoid this. There's no getting away from it. It's part-and-parcel of our life in this world. What are we to do when temptation comes our way? What are we to do when we feel the powerful pull of the world, drawing us away from You? Lord, help us to turn to You. Help us to renew our strength - in You.

We think, Lord, of Your redemption, and our hearts are filled with thanksgiving - and hope.

Exodus 15:1-21 We think, Lord, of Your redemption, and our hearts are filled with thanksgiving - and hope. We think - and we thank. we look back on all that You have done for us, and we say, "Thank You, Lord." Give us the spirit of thanksgiving, the attitude of gratitude - and, with it, give us the confidence to face the future, knowing that it is more than our future. It is Your future for us.

Lord, it's not easy to keep on praying, "Your will be done."

Judges 17:1-18:13 Lord, it's not easy to keep on praying, "Your will be done." Our will gets in the way. We start thinking about what we want - and we forget about what You want. We try to get the best of both worlds - pleasing You and pleasing ourselves. We become "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:4). Help us to become more like Jesus; "I seek not My own will but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 5:30).

We come to You, Lord, in our weakness, and You ‘renew our strength.’

Psalm 110:1-7 ‘The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand...’(Psalm 110:1). Lord, we read these words, and we think of our Lord Jesus Christ: When ‘He was taken up into heaven, He sat at the right hand of God’(Mark 16:19). When Jesus ascended to Your Father’s right hand, the Holy Spirit was sent down from heaven to fill our lives with Your blessing (John 7:37-39). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, our lives are changed: ‘In the Day of Your power, Your people will come to You willingly...’. We come to You, Lord, in our weakness, and You ‘renew our strength’. We come to You in our weariness, and we are ‘refreshed’ by Your ‘streams of living water’(Psalm 110,7). ‘Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace. Streams of mercy never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise.’

Lord, Your Word makes such a difference!

Psalm 119:49-72 Lord, Your Word makes such a difference! When everything seems so hopeless, we turn to Your Word,  and we find that there is ‘hope’ (Psalm 119:49). When we are going through a time of  terrible ‘suffering’, we turn to Your Word, and we find ‘comfort’ (Psalm 119:50,52). When everything seems to be going so badly, help us, Lord, to keep on reading Your Word: ‘The wicked have laid a trap for me, but I do not forget Your law’ (Psalm 119:61). Through Your Word, You are teaching us to see Your purpose in our sufferings: ‘The punishment You gave me was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to Your laws’ (Psalm 119:71). You, Lord, are showing us what is really important: ‘The law that You gave means more to me than all the money in the world’ (Psalm 119:72). Teach us to see Your ‘love’ in every part of our life (Psalm 119:64).

The Lord's Great Love

Psalm 89:1-37 ‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness through all generations’(Psalm 89:1). Lord, we read these words from so long ago. Many generations have come and gone since these words were written. The years come and go. The centuries run their course. One generation gives way to another generation. Time moves on relentlessly. None of us can halt the march of time. Many changes have taken place over the course of time. We thank You, Lord, that there is something that has never changed – Your great love for us. As we think of Your great love, may we say, in our hearts – The Lord is to be praised ‘for ever.’ He is to be praised ‘through all generations.’ Help us to look back and remember that Jesus Christ was crucified for us, that  He has risen for us. We thank You, Lord, for the Good News which inspires our praise: ‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever…’

Sent To Bring Life

“God sent me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:5).
We are to bring life. That’s why God has sent us. We are to bring the Saviour. We are to bring the Scriptures. We are to bring the Spirit. People coming to the Saviour, people learning from the Scriptures, people walking in the Spirit – this is what we’re praying for and working for.

Lord, You are the strength of Your people.

Psalms 28:1-29:11 Lord, You are “the strength of Your people.” May each of us say, “You are my strength” (Psalm 28:7-8). Your strength comes to us through fellowship. We receive strength from others, and we give strength to them. Your strength is more than human strength – the strength that comes to us through fellowship. It is the strength which comes to us through faith – faith in You, our Lord and our God.

We come to You, Lord, with our sin. You come to us with Your forgiveness.

Psalm 32:1-11 We come to You, Lord, with our sin. You come to us with Your forgiveness. What a tremendous blessing this is – the forgiveness of our sins (Psalm 32:1-2). You give Your promise to us: “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We bring our prayer to You: “I make my sins known to You, and I did not cover up my guilt. I decided to confess them to You, O Lord. Then You forgave all my sins” (Psalm 32:5).

When, Lord, we’re feeling defeated, Your Word gives us great encouragement.

Psalms 60:1-61:8 “With God we shall gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies” (Psalm 60:12). When, Lord, we’re feeling defeated, Your Word gives us great encouragement. The battle isn’t ours. It’s Yours. The victory isn’t ours. It’s Yours. In the heat of the battle, You are our “strong tower against the enemy” (Psalm 61:3). When we’re feeling the ferocity of Satan’s hostility towards the truth of Your Word and the Gospel of Your grace, help us to remember that You, Lord, are “enthroned for ever” (Psalm 61:7).

Salvation, security, singing and sharing

Psalm 40:1-17 Lord, we thank You for Your gifts – salvation, security, singing and sharing. You have saved us – “He drew me up from the desolate pit … ” (Psalm 40:1). You give us security – You “set my feet on a rock, making my feet secure” (Psalm 40:1). You give to us “a new song … a song of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3). You give us something wonderful to share with other people – “I have not hidden Thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation … ” (Psalm 40:10). Thank You, Lord.

Steadfast Love And Abundant Mercy

Psalm 69:1-36 When, Lord, we are going through “the deep waters” of suffering, help us to pray to You for deliverance (Psalm 69:16). We have sinned against You. We do not try to hide this – "the wrongs that I have done are not hidden from You, my guilt is not hidden from You” (Psalm 69:5). You are the God of “steadfast love” and “abundant mercy” (Psalm 69:16). We remember that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” You don’t send the judgment we deserve – This is Your mercy. You send the blessing we don't deserve – This is Your grace. Help us to come to You and receive Your “mercy” and Your “grace” (1 Timothy 1:13-16; Hebrews 4:14-16).

Victory comes from You, Lord.

Psalm 44:1-26 Victory comes from You, Lord. In ourselves, we are defeated. In You, there is victory. It’s so easy to forget this. We take our eyes off You, and we get despondent – “You have rejected and humbled us …You have made us retreat before the enemy … You gave us up to be devoured like sheep … My disgrace is before me all day long … ” (Psalm 44:9-16). What are we to do when such negative thoughts fill our minds? Lord, help us to pray, “Awake, O Lord! … Rise up and help us; redeem us because of Your unfailing love” (Psalm 44:23,26).

Words For Singing, Words For Living

Psalms 75:1-76:12 “Wegive thanks to You, O God … I will rejoice for ever, I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. Make your vows to the Lord your God, and perform them” (Psalm 785:1,9; Psalm 76:11). Teach us, Lord, that true rejoicing in You is more than singing praise to You. Teach us to live what we sing. “Fill Thou our life, O Lord our God, in every part with praise.” “Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.” Such words are not to be forgotten as soon as we leave the place of worship. They’re more than words for singing. They’re words for living. How, Lord, can we live a life of praise and consecration? – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Lord, Your Word brings peace to our hearts - but Your blessing is not to be kept to ourselves.

Psalms 46:1-47:9 You call us, Lord, to “be still and know that You are God” (Psalm 46:10). You call us to “shout to You with songs of joy” (Psalm 47:2). Your Word brings peace to our hearts – “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). Your blessing is not to be kept to ourselves – “Sing to the Lord … Let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands” (Isaiah 42:10-12). Help us, Lord, to rejoice in Your love for us, and to share Your love with others.

Lord, we worship You in the place of worship ...

Psalm 48:1-14 Lord, we worship You in the place of worship – “Within Your Temple, we meditate on Your unfailing love.” Help us to go out from there, and play our part in seeing that Your praise “reaches to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 48:: 9-11). How will other people know of Your love, if we don’t tell them? How will they find their way to Your House, if we don’t invite them? When we share Your Word with others, help us to remember Your promise: “My Word … will not return to Me empty, but will … achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

Sometimes, Lord, we have more questions than answers.

Psalm 77:1-20
Sometimes, Lord, we have more questions than answers (Psalm 77:7-9). The questions keep flooding into our minds. We wonder where the answers are going to come from. What, Lord, are we to do when this happens? We remember what You have done for us (Psalm 77:11-12). Help us, Lord, to look back over the “years” – and remember that Your “hand” has been upon us (Psalm 77:5,10). May the memories of Your many blessings fill us with strength – to face the future with confidence in You. Help us, Lord. to trust in You – and be truly happy.

With God we shall gain the victory.

Psalms 60:1-61:8 “With God we shall gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies” (Psalm 60:12). When, Lord, we’re feeling defeated, Your Word gives us great encouragement. The battle isn’t ours. It’s Yours. The victory isn’t ours. It’s Yours. In the heat of the battle, You are our “strong tower against the enemy” (Psalm 61:3). When we’re feeling the ferocity of Satan’s hostility towards the truth of Your Word and the Gospel of Your grace, help us to remember that You, Lord, are “enthroned for ever” (Psalm 61:7).

Help us, Lord, to become better people – not bitter people!

2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27 Help us, Lord, to learn from the failure of King Uzziah. He began well – “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord … He set himself to seek God” (2 Chronicles 26:4-5). He lost his way – “When he was strong, he grew proud, and he was false to the Lord his God” ( 2 Chronicles 26:16). Help us, Lord, to become better people – not bitter people!

My One Year Bible

Day 1 Genesis 1:1-2:17; Matthew 1:1-25; Psalm 1:1-6 Genesis speaks of the beginning. Matthew speaks of a new beginning. The God who created us is the God who has provided for our salvation. If we are to enjoy God's salvation, we must learn to follow the wisdom of Psalm 1:1-2 - "Blessed is the one ... whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night." Day 2 Genesis 2:18-4:16; Matthew 2:1-18; Psalm 2:1-12 If there is to be delight in God's Word, we must overcome doubt. Satan is always saying, "Did God really say ...?" (Genesis 3:1). We must learn to say, "God did say" (Genesis 3:3). We must stand by this confession of faith in God and His Word. Satan will not give in easily. He will try to talk us out of believing God's Word. Satan will try to confuse us by speaking in a "spiritual" way. We must, however, be clear about Satan's purpose. He is seeking to undermine God's purpose. If he thinks he…