Tuesday, 31 January 2012
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1.16
Peter lived and experienced Jesus and the wonder of His being, together with the supernatural events that marked His life. Peter was an eyewitness to the love and power, the grace and majesty of God, worked on earth among us by His Son, the very image and manifestation of God.
Peter did not have to make up stories in order to spread the incredible news of Jesus’ gospel of salvation. He did not need to fabricate events nor manufacture situations. He had no call on myths or imaginative stories. He simply spoke from his first hand experience of Jesus. His Lord and Saviour had been also his companion and friend. Peter had countless eyewitness accounts that he could share of the influence and impact of Jesus in, and on, his life. Peter had only to speak the truth.
This is speaking to me. Is this, perhaps, because my name is also Peter, or is this mere coincidence? However, this Peter can learn from that earlier Peter. He spoke of what he had seen and witnessed of Jesus. I too have experienced Jesus. He has show me much and done many great and wonderful things in my life. I have “seen” Him, but perhaps not in the physical and tangible way that the apostle Peter experienced. Yet, I truly believe, He is every bit as real for me as He was for Simon Peter.
I may not truthfully describe myself as an eyewitness for Jesus, but I can most certainly be an “I-witness” for Him.
What must I do? I think I simply follow the example of my famous namesake and speak what I know. Like him, I do not need to make up stories. I have many stories of my own real experience of Jesus. My witness comes forth as I share what He has done for me.
Precious Lord, Loving Saviour,
You are real to me. O, I praise You! I thank You for the wonderful gift of salvation You have given me. I thank You for the many, glorious experiences I have shared with You. I thank You for the releases and healings You have brought into my life. I am free. You have liberated me.
I pray that You will enable me to share my experiences of You. I pray for specific, God-appointed and anointed opportunities to share the love of God and the wonderful gift of redemption and salvation that is instantly available through Jesus.
Allow me to share You as I know You. I pray for wisdom, that I do not share inappropriately. I ask also for grace, that my stories will impact, and be used by You to draw people to Jesus.
Thank You for Your incredible love for me. I love You. Amen.
Friday, 27 January 2012
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals. Rev. 5.5
No one of us is worthy to break the seal and open the scroll. No mere man has ever been, or ever will be, capable of breaking the seal. But the Son of Man, the Son of Almighty God alone is fitted to open the scroll and its seven seals.
All I need, all I can ever want I will find in Jesus. I am not worthy, yet He makes me worthy. I cannot do it for myself, nor do I need to, for He has already done it.
On the cross He cried out “It is finished.” With these words He signalled the beginning for me.
As I embrace Him, of course I want to be a better person in myself. But I do not fool myself that my salvation is anything at all to do with my actions, save the signal act of turning to Jesus and receiving him as Saviour and Lord.
No, my actions do not bring me salvation! Rather, my good actions are my response to his most generous act of salvation. I try. I do not always succeed. But I keep trying.
I love You. I thank You for Your wonderful and gracious gift of salvation.
As part of my response, O Holy One, I seek to be a better person. I know that does not change anything with You. I cannot earn greater merit, nor can I jeopardise – by failure – the sovereign grace that You extend to me.
But I want to be the very best I am able to be – for You.
When you love someone, you want to please them. Lord God, My Dear Father, I love you and I seek to please You with all of my being. Please know this. Amen.
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.” 1 Sam. 12.20
The Israelites realise they have done wrong in asking for a king. Yet Samuel urges them not to turn away from the Lord God in the realisation of their wrong-doing. It might be a natural thing to do. Having wronged someone it is then difficult to face them, but this is what Samuel advocates. God is faithful. He chose the Israelites for a very special purpose. Sadly, He knows they will rebel and go against him. But He is a forgiving God who will freely pardon those who seek it of him. The Israelites realise this for they ask Samuel to pray for them. Samuel, in turn, acknowledges that if he should fail to pray he would himself be sinning against the Lord.
The story of the Bible contains many such instances and examples. The lesson is clearly there and, I believe, it is a lesson for every believer. The temptation to turn away from God when we have done the wrong thing, or even passively when we fail or omit to do the right thing, must be resisted, and must be overcome. Doubts and impulses come from the enemy who subtly whispers, “You’re not worthy!” “You’ve done it again!” “You can’t walk with God in this!” This is all rot and must be seen as such. The first place to go in the time of sin and straying is right back to God, to bring everything before him, lay it down and seek His forgiveness and restoration. For restoration most assuredly follows God’s forgiveness.
What a wonderful, gracious God we have who receives us, time after time, when we have let him down. He receives us, forgives us, heals us and restores us. And He will continue to do this just as long as we come to Him, in genuine repentance and faith. The Israelites experienced this of old. We can experience it every day. Praise our wonderful God!
I like to think that I, as an earthly father, would forgive any sin or grievance that my child might commit against me. Yet, even as I write these words, I know that my breadth of love is nothing when compared with Yours.
Dear Lord, thank you for loving me and caring so much for me. Thank You for the supreme sacrifice You made in sending the Son to die in order that I might be restored to the Father. Lord, I do not take this lightly. I ask You to help me to clearly convey this message to others. There are so very many who need to know You and receive this most amazing love which rescues them, frees them and leads them forward in victorious living.
Lord, I pray for them. In Your mercy, hear my prayer. In grace prepare the way and send out the messengers into that way, that all might hear and receive, and that none shall perish.
Forgive me my sins this day. Lead me forward, to the fulfilment of all that You have for me, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Saturday, 21 January 2012
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Sam.17.45
In all appearances in the natural David seems to be no match for the Philistine in any way. But David realises that the fight is not against purely physical odds. Goliath, as representative of the Philistines, has dared to stand up against Almighty God. David realised this truth early on in the day when he asked the men standing near him,
“What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes
this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he
should defy the armies of the living God?” (v 29)
David goes into battle against this ugly foe, not in his own strength but in the power of the God of Israel, all-mighty and good and just.
There will be Philistines who will seek to stand in my way and try to exercise control over me. I need to be like David and discern when these threats are not simply against me but indicate blatant defiance of the living God. In such instances the full power and force of heaven is with me, and I may be assured of victory if I will but enter the battle.
I receive this greatly encouraging word from David’s story. I receive it, and I thank You for it, for I know it comes from You.
I know also that You are my source. When the Philistine seeks to attack me, I ask for discernment to know that You have been defied. Let me then go forward into the battle, not merely reliant upon you, but confident in You that the battle will be won and the enemy vanquished.
Lord, mighty God, You are my God and my King. I salute You. I honour You and ask that my whole life might speak in testimony to You love, mercy, grace and blessing. Amen.
Thursday, 19 January 2012
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 2 Cor. 11.30
Paul knows, by now, that his weakness opens the way for him to experience the super-abundant strength of God’s grace. He boasts, therefore, not in what he has done but in what God has done.
He goes on to tell how he suffered from “a thorn in the flesh” and three times he pleaded with the Lord to take it from him...
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made
perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12.9a
To Paul this is yet more encouragement –
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that
Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight
in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12.9b.10
How differently Paul sees weaknesses from the way in which the world would see them! And how different Paul’s boasting is from the boasting of the world!
Where do I fit in this? Certainly, I know that my weakness allows God’s power to flourish and succeed. I don’t know if I am yet able to boast in and of my weakness in quite the same way that Paul does. But I am making progress. I no longer see my weakness as a drawback, or as debilitating. No, it releases me into the fullness of God’s power.
I have experienced much of God’s grace. I am fitted to open my arms wide and receive more of His grace. Do I want this? Most certainly I do! I want God’s grace to be my full sufficiency. I want to live completely in His strength and not in my own. If I should ever become aware of a thorn in my flesh, I want to surrender it to God and ask Him to lead me through in His grace and in His strength.
And yes, I want to boast – outrageously in Him! He is my rock. He is my strength and my salvation. He is my everything. Praise the Lord!
Again I come before You with thanksgiving. I thank You for reminding me that Your grace is sufficient for me. I come before You in weakness. I lay all of my weaknesses at Your feet. When I am weak, then You are strong. Precious Lord, be strong in me today. Let Your power rest upon me and lead me. May I serve You in my weakness, moving only in Your power and Your strength.
I would boast in You. I pray this might develop in me in the most natural way. I cannot boast in myself. I know I have nothing in me to be boastful of. Thank You, dear Lord.
Let me know You more. Let me experience Your mighty power at work in my life. Let me boast freely and long in you.
I kneel at Your feet. I salute Your power and my weakness. You are the great God in whom nothing is impossible. I can do anything when Your power invades my weakness.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Mighty God. Amen.