Monday, 29 April 2019

Why has God made us His ‘own people’?

In Christ, we are ‘a holy nation’. Why has God made us His ‘own people’? - ‘that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him... ’ (1 Peter 2:9).‘The nations are waiting for us, waiting for the gospel we will bring’ (Songs of Fellowship, 539).

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Salvation

"an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:4-5)
Salvation is being kept for us. We are being kept for salvation.

Let's Declare God's Wonderful Deeds.

In Christ, we are ‘a holy nation’. Why has God made us His ‘own people’? - ‘that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him... ’ (1 Peter 2:9). ‘The nations are waiting for us, waiting for the gospel we will bring’ (Songs of Fellowship, 539).

No-one goes on forever.

1 Kings 1:1-53
No-one goes on forever. We read about David’s reign coming to an end, about David being replaced by Solomon (1 Kings 1:30). Help us, Lord, to pray that the future will be “greater” than the past (1 Kings 1:37,47). In all of life’s changes, help us to remember this: You are the living God (1 Kings 1:29) – the God who remains constant when everything else is changing, the God whose love is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable.

Which is most important to us – “building our own house” or “building the House of the Lord”?

1 Kings 3:1-28
Which is most important to us – “building our own house” or “building the House of the Lord” (1 Kings 3:1-3)? How often, Lord, do we think about the things that matter most to You? Are we too busy thinking about the things that matter most to ourselves? These are not questions to be ‘brushed under the carpet’. They are questions that demand our attention. They are questions that You, Lord, are asking us. You’re calling us to “consider our ways” (Haggai 1:5,7). Are we walking in Your way? or Are we going our own way? Call us back to Yourself, Lord. Call us back from a way ill lead us far from You. Call us into a way that will bring us close to You. Lead us to Jesus – He is “the way, the true and living way” (John 14:6).

Which is most important to us – pleasing ourselves or serving You?

1 Kings 6:14-7:12
We read about Solomon – he built “his own house”, and he built “the House of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:37-7:1). Which was the most important to him? Which is most important to us – pleasing ourselves or serving You? Help us, Lord, not to be “lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure”. “Lovers of God” – this is what You call us to be (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Help us, Lord, to keep on making our choice – to become the kind of people that You want us to be.

Friday, 12 April 2019

What is happening, Lord, when we are gathered together for worship?

1 Kings 8:54-9:28
What is happening, Lord, when we are gathered together for worship? Is this merely a human thing, something that we do? – No! there is something more than this. Before we even thought of coming to Your House, You were there waiting for us. You welcome us. You speak Your Word to us: “Let your heart be wholly true to the Lord your God” (1 Kings 8:61). You’re calling us into a life of “joy and gladness” – a life of “walking before You with integrity of heart” (1 Kings 8:66; 1 Kings 9:4). This is true worship. It’s not just something that we do on a Sunday morning. It’s learning to walk with You all the days of our life. Lord, help us to worship You today – and every day.

How much do the things of this world really matter – if we don’t have Jesus as our Saviour?

1 Kings 10:1-11:13
We look, Lord, at “King Solomon” – and we see ourselves! “He was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth” (1 Kings 10:23). We like to think that we’re ‘getting on in the world.’ There was something seriously wrong with Solomon – “His heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God …he did not follow the Lord completely” (1 Kings 11:4,6). This is our problem. There’s too much of the world in our way of life – and not enough of You, Lord! How much do the things of this world really matter – if we don’t have Jesus as our Saviour (Mark 8:36)?

More Than The Story Of Kings ...

The throne is handed on to Solomon by David. This is seen as part of the ongoing purpose of God: “Praise the Lord God of Israel who has let me see the heir to my throne” (1 Kings 1:48). The kingship was given to Solomon by “the Lord” (1 Kings 2:15) - “The Lord set me on my father David’s throne ... As He promised” (1 Kings 2:24). When we read the history of the kings of Israel, it is important that we do not lose sight of this spiritual dimension. This is more than the story of men. It’s the story of God’s dealings with His people.
Solomon was a wise man. His wisdom came from God: “He possessed wisdom from God”, “God gave Solomon wisdom” (1 Kings 3:28; 1 Kings 4:29). The work done by the king required wisdom. The gift of wisdom is to be received with praise to God: “May the Lord be praised today: He has given David a wise son to rule this great nation” (1 Kings 5:7). God gave wisdom for spiritual leadership - building the Lord’s Temple (1 Kings 6:1,37-38). God gives wisdom to us as we gather together in His House to hear His Word (1 Kings 6:19). We are not only to hear His Word. We are to do His work (1 Kings 7:51). For His work, God gives us His wisdom - holy wisdom.
Solomon prays (1 Kings 8:22-53). The Lord answers Solomon’s prayer (1 Kings 9:3-9). We must seek the blessing of God. Without His blessing, all our efforts are fruitless. When our work is “in the Lord”, it is “not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Together with work, there needs to be prayer. We are to look to God for the blessing. As we pray to God and work for Him, we must remember this: God is faithful - He fulfils His promises to His people (1 Kings 8:56). When God blesses us, we must remember to give thanks to Him. As well as praying to Him, working for Him and thanking Him, we must make sure that we keep on living for Him (1 Kings 8:61). At the centre of our life of obedience, there is to be worshipping Him in His House (1 Kings 9:3).
In 1 Kings 10, we read about Solomon’s wealth. In 1 Kings 11, we read about his weakness - women. There is sadness about Solomon’s reign - “He was no longer committed to the Lord his God as his father David had been ... He did not wholeheartedly follow the Lord as his father David had done” (1 Kings 11:4,6). Solomon’s sin led to God’s judgment: “So the Lord grew angry with Solomon because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel” (1 Kings 11:9).
1 Kings 12 tells us about Rehoboam (verses 1-19) and Jeroboam (verses 20-33). God was looking beyond both of these men. He was looking ahead to the reign of King Josiah (1 Kings 13:2). For the fulfilment of this prophecy, we must look on to 2 Kings 23:15-20. God is always ahead of us. We live in our present. He is calling us on to His future.
As we read about various king, there is something that we must never forget - the Lord is King. He is King of all kings. Over all kings, there is One who reigns supreme. The Lord reigns. His reign is greater than any earthly king. He is the King of heaven. There is no other king like the Lord. He is the One who sits on the heavenly throne. His throne is established forever.
We read about Elijah in his high-points of strength - the triumph over the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:36-39) - and his low-points of weakness - he is ready to give up: “I’ve had enough now, Lord” (1 Kings 19:4). How did Elijah get into such a mess? He forgot this: “The Lord’s power was on Elijah” (1 Kings 18:46). In all life’s ups and downs, we must hold on to this: The Lord has sent His Spirit of power to live in us (2 Timothy 1:7). How are we to live in the power of the Spirit? We need to feed on the Word of God and drink in the Word of God (1 Kings 17:4). We need to pray that the Lord will send His showers of blessing (1 Kings 17:14). We are to live our life “according to the Word of the Lord” (1 Kings 17:16). For our life of faith to be strong in the Lord, we need to listen attentively to the preaching of God’s Word (1 Kings 17:24).
Following the death of the evil king, Ahab, things changed. The new king, Jehoshaphat, was a different kind of man - “Jehoshaphat did what the Lord considered right” (1 Kings 22:43). Sadly, things took a turn for the worse after Jehoshaphat died: “Ahaziah ... Did what the Lord considered evil .... Ahaziah served Baal, worshipped him, and made the Lord God of Israel furious ...” (1 Kings 22:51-53). In all the changing circumstances of our lives, we must remember that the Lord is King. We are not to put our trust in kings. There are good kings. There are bad kings. There is only one true King. There is only One who is King over all. The Lord is the King of kings. This is the thought which we must take with us as we move on from 1 Kings to 2 Kings. The Lord is King. No human king can even begin to compare with the Lord, who is King over all.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Prayer Leads To Blessing.

“When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the Lord, he rose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven. He stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying, Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as He promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises He gave through His servant Moses.” (1 Kings 8:54-56).
Prayer leads to blessing. When we receive the Lord’s blessing, we are to pass it on to others. We do not pray to the Lord so that we can say, “The Lord has blessed me” – and leave it at that. We must move on from there. We are to share His blessing. We are to bring His blessing to others. His blessing inspires our praise. We think of all that He has done for us, and we say, “Praise be to the Lord.” He is our God. He has not failed us – and He will not fail us. He will fulfil His promises of blessing. May His blessing give us the strength that we need to keep on saying, with all our heart, “Praise be to the Lord.”

"I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold ... "


"King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift – articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules." (1 Kings 10:23-25).
" Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness." (1 Kings 10:9).
We read about King Solomon. We read about His great riches. We read about  his great wisdom. We learn that he had been greatly blessed by God. What are  we to say about Solomon?

We could focus on the spiritual side - "the wisdom God had put in his heart", "the Lord your God ... has delighted in you."
We should also note the temptation that comes to those who have great riches. Things can become more important to us than they should be. We must pray that the Lord will always be more  important to us than the things of this world.
"I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand."

Saturday, 6 April 2019

The Servant King

"My servant David" (1 Kings 11:34,38)
David became a king. He remained a servant. He points us forward to Jesus - "the Servant King" (Graham Kendrick). " ... Jerusalem, the city where I chose to place My Name" (1 Kings 11:36). 
Jerusalem is called the Holy City. It's not so much Jerusalem that's holy. It's the Name of the Lord that's holy - and He has placed His holy Name in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, Jesus died for us and rose again for us. Again, it's not Jerusalem that's holy. It's our Saviour who's holy. Jerusalem's a special place because Jesus is special. There's no one like Him. He's our Lord. He's our Saviour.

Walking in the Light of God's Love, Truth and Holiness


"You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light" (Psalm 18:28).
Without You, Lord, we're stumbling around in the dark. With You, we're walking in the light - the light of Your love, the light of Your truth, the light of Your holiness. "As for God, His way is perfect" (Psalm 18:30).
The Lord knows what He has planned for each one of us. There are no surprises for Him. The Lord doesn’t leave us to travel on our own. He’s with us every step of the way. When we wonder about what’s happening in our lives, He is there, teaching us to say from the heart, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30; 2 Samuel 22:31). He’s leading us to His Son, Jesus. He’s showing us our suffering Saviour. He’s showing us our risen Lord. He’s showing us that there is a way of peace, joy and love. It’s the way of Jesus. It’s the way of trusting Him. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He will lead you in His way. God’s blessing will surround you each day.

What, Lord, is most important to us – the person who leads us in worship, the place where we worship, or the God whom we worship?

1 Kings 8:14-53
What, Lord, is most important to us – the person who leads us in worship, the place where we worship, or the God whom we worship? We know what our answer should be – but, often, our lives tell a very different story. Help us, when we worship, to learn that nothing and no-one can ever be more important than You. May our lives start catching up with the lessons that we learn when we are reading Your Word.

There Is No God Like The Lord.

“Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below—You who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants who continue wholeheartedly in Your way. You have kept Your promise to Your servant David my father; with Your mouth You have promised and with Your hand You have fulfilled it—as it is today” (1 Kings 8:23-24).
There is no God like the Lord. What’s so special about Him? It’s His love. It’s His faithfulness. He loves us with a faithful love. His love is great. His faithfulness is great. Where else could we find such love? Where else could we find such faithfulness? – Nowehere else! It’s only the Lord who loves us with a perfect love. It’s only the Lord who will remain completely faithful, when others let down and leave us feeling discouraged. There is no God like the Lord. There is no love like His love. There is no faithfulness like His faithfulness.  In love, He gives us His precious promises. In love, He fulfils His precious promises.

“The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanses us all from sin.”

“Jesus answered, ‘Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.’” (John 13:10).

  * “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanses us all from sin” (1 John 1:7).
When we come in faith to Jesus Christ, our Saviour, we receive complete cleansing – “The vilest offender who truly believes that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.” ”Every sin had to go ‘neath the cleansing flow.”  

 * “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, keeps on cleansing us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Coming to Christ and receiving the forgiveness of our sins is just the beginning of our walk in God.
Through faith in our Saviour, we become God’s children. Becoming God’s children through faith in Christ is the beginning of our new life in Christ. God is calling us to grow in Christ. He is calling us to become mature believers.
How are we to grow in Christ? How are to become mature believers? Often, sin will come between us and the holy God. When this happens, we must remember that He is our loving Father. In His great love for us, He has provided for us the way of continual cleansing in the blood of Christ, our Saviour.
When we fail the Lord, He does not leave us. He does not disown us. We are still His children, saved by His wonderful grace. He does, however, call us to come back to Him. He calls us to make progress in the way of holiness.
If we are to a life that brings glory to the Lord, we must come to Him – not once only but many times - and be cleansed in the blood of Christ. This is the continual cleansing which we require if we are to grow in Christ and become mature in Him.
The cleansing of our heart begins with conversion. God gives us a new heart. The cleansing of our life involves lifelong learning – learning to live in the power of the new nature given to us by God at the time of our conversion.
May God help us never to forget our complete cleansing. May we always give thanks to Him for this great blessing. May God help us to come to Him, again and again, for the continual cleansing we need if we are to grow in Christ and bring glory to Him.

Each of us must choose how we're going to live.

"Don’t love the world and what it offers. Those who love the world don’t have the Father’s love in them. 16 Not everything that the world offers—physical gratification, greed, and extravagant lifestyles—comes from the Father. It comes from the world, and 17 the world and its evil desires are passing away. But the person who does what God wants lives forever " (1 John 2:15-17).
There are two ways of living - the world's and the Lord's. Each of us must choose how we're going to live. What is most important to us - getting on in the world or  pleasing the Lord?

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Celebrating The Lord's Supper In Joyful Obedience

1 Corinthians 11:1-34
We celebrate the Lord’s Supper (23-26).
We take note of what Paul says about the way we are to come to the Lord’s Table (27-29).
What’s this all about? Is it about the whole thing looking good - impressive?
Paul gives us something to think about in verse 22 - ‘Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the Church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?’
In Paul’s questions, we hear an echo of the Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 1:12-20; Amos 5:21-24).
We rejoice in John 3:16 - ‘God so loved the world…’.
Let’s not forget 1 John 3:16-18 - ‘let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.’
Jesus says, ‘…first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift’ (Matthew 5:23-24).
Don’t just think about it. Act on it (James1:22-25; 2:14-17)!

Serving Our Lord Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 4:1-21
As ‘servants of Christ’, we must concern ourselves with one thing - being ‘found faithful’.
This is not a matter of pleasing people - ‘it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you...'
Pleasing God - this is the most important thing (1-4).
Serving Christ is not easy.
There are always those who are quick to pass judgment on the Lord’s servants. What does God say about this? - ‘Do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes’ (9-13,5).
Being ‘found faithful’ is not just a matter of ‘saying the right words’. We must be the right people. This is what Paul means when he says, ‘The kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power’ (20). ‘You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses’ (Acts 1:8; Romans 12:11).

Keeping Our Focus On Christ

Paul preached the Gospel, ‘not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power’ (1 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 2:4). He preached 'Christ crucified' with a determination ‘to know nothing except Jesus Christ crucified’(1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 2:2). This is the message of our salvation - ‘Christ crucified... Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’ (1:1 Corinthians 23-24). All the glory belongs to God. We have no right to steal away any of the glory for ourselves: ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). Our faith is ‘not based on human wisdom but on God’s power’ (2:5). ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’ (Mission Praise, 712). Christ is our full salvation. ‘Let us rejoice and be glad’ in Him’ (1 Corinthians 1:30; Psalm 118:24).

What Will We Pass On To The Next Generation?

"What You have done will be praised from one generation to the next" (Psalm 145:4).
These words, from Psalm 145, are calling on us to give an answer to a most important question: What will we pass on to the next generation?
Will we pass on something of permanent value? Will we pass on something that stands the test of time, something of lasting value, something that will last "not for the years of time alone, but for eternity"?
"Jesus, my Lord, will love me for ever ... not for the years of time alone, but for eternity."
"Jesus, my Lord, will love me forever " - This is the great message that we pass on to the next generation.
The love of Jesus - There is nothing better than this. His love is the greatest love of all.
In his great chapter on love - 1 Corinthians 13, Paul ends with these great words: "These three things remain forever - faith, hope and love. the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13).
What are we going to pass on to the next generation? - we must choose. We must keep on choosing to pass on faith, hope and love - the faith, hope and love which come to us from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Passing on the love of Christ to the next generation - What a great privilege this is! What a great responsibility it is!
Sometimes, we may feel weighed down by a sense of responsibility. In times like this, we must never forget that we have received from God a great privilege.
The privilege and responsibility of passing on Christ's love to the next generation - Let's think together about how we can make our commitment to the future. Let's think together about the three things which are permanent - faith, hope and love.
Faith
Where does faith come from? - It comes from the Lord. He puts it into our hearts.
Paul puts it like this: "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through preaching Christ" (Romans 10:17).
Our faith is often weak.
Our God is always strong.
Real faith is not self-confidence. It is confidence in God. we must never forget this. Sometimes, our confidence in God is shaken by the things that happen to us. We start to think, "I'm not sure if I believe in God." When you feel like this, there's something you must never forget - God believes in you.
You and I are never a waste of God's time.
What is it that assures us that God always has time for us? - Jesus died on the cross for us. How can we look at Jesus Christ, dying on the cross for us, and continue to doubt the love of God for us? God believes in us - and He has a great future planned for us. he lifts us out of the shifting sand of our confused emotions. He sets our feet on the solid Rock - Jesus Christ, the Rock of our salvation.
Hope
The word, "hope", is not always a positive word. Sometimes, it expresses a a lack of faith - "I don't think that this will happen - but I hope that it does."
Hoping for the best - even when we have our doubts: Is this all that we can expect - or is there something more than that?
What is it that gives us hope? Who is it that gives us hope for the future?
It is God who gives us hope. He is the God of hope.
Without Him, everything is hopeless. We have no eternal future to which we can look forward.
With Him, everything becomes hopeful. He changes everything. He gives us the glorious hope of eternal life.
How does this hope change us here-and-now? This hope calls us on into the future. It calls us to be changed by the God of hope. It calls us to follow the Lord Jesus, who is leading us on to His eternal future.
this hope makes a difference here-and-now. It calls us to move forward with God and for God. It calls us to become, more truly and more fully, all that God wants us to be. This hope gives us vision for the future.
Sometimes, we are asked the question: "What is your vision?" Our answer to this question must always be, "The Lord is my Vision." We must keep looking to Jesus. He is the One who has given us faith. He is the One who gives us hope.
The other day, I passed a Wayside Pulpit, with this short but very powerful message: "Don't give up. God doesn't."
I also passed the end of a street with the name: "Hope Terrace."
Day-by-day, the God of hope is giving us His little reminders. He's saying to us, "There is hope." He's reminding us that we're travelling on a journey towards His heavenly glory.
Sometimes, we may feel like we're in a wilderness. God is saying to us, "The wilderness won't last forever. I'm leading you on to the promised land." God doesn't lead us along a dead-end street.
"He didn't bring us thus far to leave us.
 He didn't teach us to swim to let us drown.
He didn't build His home in us to move away.
He didn't lift us up to let us down."
In a recent edition of "Life and Work", there was a great article from the Rev Marion Dodd. It has the title, "From Jacob to Israel." As well as speaking about Jacob who became Israel, she encourages us, by pointing to other people whose lives were transformed by the love and power of God - Abraham, Moses, David, Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus, Levi - the tax collector who became Matthew the Gospel-writer, Saul of Tarsus - the persecutor who became Paul the Apostle. She even mentions the thief on the cross.
What is all of this saying to us? - There is hope. Why? - Because God believes in lost causes. Marion Dodd puts it like this: "What matters is not what we are on our own, but what we can be with God."
Let the past be the past. let us make a new beginning with God - a new beginning with the God of hope. He will lead us into His future, a future in which we will be learning to say, "Great is Thy faithfulness."
Love
Is there really such a thing as "everlasting love"?
Human ;love can be very confusing.
There's the wonderful experience of falling in love. There can also be the painful experience of falling out of love.
Is there a love that never comes to an end, a love that remains strong and doesn't fizzle out through time?
God's Word tells us that there is only one love that never comes to an end. there is only one "everlasting love." It is the love of God, our heavenly Father. His love is the greatest love of all.
How do we know that God loves us? - Jesus died for us. In the cross of Christ, we see the supreme demonstration of God's love for us. Our Saviour dying on the cross for us - This is God's way of showing us that He loves us. His love is not a love that comes and goes. His love is not a love that is sometimes strong, and sometimes weak. His love is constant. he loves us all of the time. His love is an "always and forever" love. It is a love that will not let us go.
His love is an unchanging love. It is also a changing love. It is the love which changes us.
 - Let us be secure in His love.His love is an unchanging love.
 - Let us be changed by His love. His love is a changing love.
Let's think together about this: God's love is an unchanging love. It is also a changing love.
 * His love is an unchanging love.
His love for us doesn't depend on our love for Him. He doesn't start loving us because He sees that we have a strong love for Him. His love comes first. Our love for Him can never be any more than a response to His love for us.
 * His love is a changing love.
Let's never imagine that God's love ever leaves us the way it finds us. God's love changes us. through the love of God, we are given the power to live as a new creation. In His love for us, God gives to us the power of the Holy Spirit, the power to live a life that bears fruit for god and brings glory to Him.
When God speaks to us about His unchanging love, He has something to tell us.
When He speaks to us His changing love - the love that changes us, He has a question for us.
 * God has something to tell us - He tells us that He loves us very much.
 * God has a question for us - He says to us, "I love you very much", and then He asks us this very important question, "How much do you love Me?"
What will we pass on to the next generation?
Let us pass on "the three things that remain forever - faith, hope and love." Let us tell them of Jesus. let us tell them of His love for them. let us pray that their hearts will be open - to receive Jesus, to receive His love.

Let's Live As Servants Of Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:25-8:13
We are to ‘use the things of the world’ without becoming ‘engrossed in them’ (31).
Becoming more worldly in our way of living is not a purely personal thing. We harm other people ‘for whom Christ died’. They look to us for a godly example and we let them down. We ‘sin against them’. We ‘sin against Christ’. Our choices affect other people. We choose a self-centred life. We cause them to ‘fall into sin.’ We live a life of ‘love’, and they are ‘built up’ in their faith (11-13,1; Matthew 18:5-7, 10).
How are we to live? Are we to become preoccupied with how our actions affect those who watch our every move? That could become very confusing and distracting. We must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must live ‘not ... as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart...’ (Ephesians 6:6-7).





Thank You, Lord, for Your love. You always remember us - because You love us.

1 Chronicles 1:1-54 
Sometimes, Lord, we read, in Your Word, things that make us wonder, "What's this all about?" What are You saying to us in the parts of the Bible that don't jump out at us? We ask, "Do we really need to read a long list of names?" You say to us, "All of these people were important to Me. I loved every one of them. You are important to me. I love you," Thank You, Lord, for Your love. You know each one of us by name. You never forget us. You always remember us. You remember us - because You love us. 

Let us praise the Lord together.

David called God’s people to worship. They were ‘to raise sounds of joy’, praising the Lord with ‘loud music’. David did not leave it to others. He gave the lead. Along with all the others, he was there, ‘dancing and making merry’. He was a true spiritual leader. He ‘blessed the people in the Name of the Lord’. He called upon the people to ‘praise the Lord’ (1 Chronicles 15:16,28-29; 16:2,4). God calls us to worship Him continually’ (1 Chronicles 16:6). May God help us to be the kind of people who take ‘delight in the Word of the Lord, meditating on His Word day and night’ (Psalm 1:2). Our meditation on God’s Word is to be accompanied by obedience to His Word – ‘be careful to do according to all that is written in it’ (Joshua 1:8). This is the true ‘spiritual worship’ God is looking for – the dedication of our lives to Him (Romans 12:1).

You call us, Lord, to seek You - and You also call us to serve You.

2 Chronicles 31:11-32:33
You call us, Lord, to seek You - and You also call us to serve You (2 Chronicles 31:20-21). Where does our seeking and serving come from? It comes from Your salvation. We read the words, "The Lord saved Hezekiah" ( 2 Chronicles 32::22) - and we think of our salvation. We rejoice in Your precious promise - "All the ends of the earth, turn to Me and be saved" (Isaiah 45:22). We rejoice in our gracious Saviour - Jesus Christ, "the Saviour of the world" (John 4:42).

God is ...

Psalm 93:2,4-5 
God is eternal (v. 2). God is mighty (v. 4). God is holy (v.5).

Daily Devotional Readings: Year Two - January

1st January: Joshua 1:1-18 For Israel, it was a new beginning. They were leaving the wilderness. That was their past. They were entering...