Friday, 24 February 2012
‘They will pass through the sea of trouble;
the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
Assyria’s pride will be brought down and Egypt’s sceptre will pass away.
I will strengthen them in the Lord and in his name they will walk, declares the Lord. Zech. 10.11,12
God is talking about delivering His people out of exile. Egypt and Assyria both would have evoked strong memories of slavery and exile for the Jews.
God states that His people will pass through this trouble, the threatening seas that surge around them will be subdued, and the menacing waters of the Nile will dry up. The power and might of the oppressors will be removed and God will strengthen His people in Himself. They will walk in Him.
This is God’s declaration for His people. He spoke it out clearly for the exiled remnant of Jews. But I believe He speaks it just as clearly today. Many of Christ’s followers are threatened – by all manner of affliction in many different situations. The forces of evil that exerted such influence through Assyria and Egypt are equally at work today. Their environment is of now, their manner and persuasion is totally contemporary in every respect. Consequently as we read of God’s deliverance of His people from their old-time foes we do not readily transpose it into today’s society. This, however, does not deny it. God will save His people today. His rescue operation is underway for all who will turn to Him, and heed Him.
The strength we receive in Him will lead us through any conflict. In Him, we are secure, we find the will to fight the poor and pathetic ways of the enemy, demonstrated through a fallen world. We are lifted up and restored into wonderful relationship where we can walk fully in Him.
I pray for Your children who are struggling today. I know, like any parent, You are concerned for them, Your desire is to help and protect, save and strengthen.
Great God, Wonderful Dad, I cry out for the lost. Those who are so enmeshed and deceived by ‘Egypt’ and ‘Assyria’, that they can’t take hold of You with any strength, nor sense of reality. Lord, would You reach out to them? Would You hold them in peace, in the palm of Your hand? Let them notice the stillness. Let them feel the peace. Let them know that the hand of Almighty God , their loving, heavenly Father is on them, to strengthen them and lead them from the grip of the enemy.
Lord God, I thank You for each and every human being on the face of this earth. Reach them, and save them, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Monday, 20 February 2012
No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Rom. 4.20,21
Paul is talking about Abraham. What a wonderful example Abraham is! In Paul’s words Abraham’s body was as good as dead and Sarah was barren in the womb. Yet, Abraham knew that God had promised him issue, and that was good enough for him.
I connect particularly with Paul’s words that No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God. This suggests that there might have been distrust, indeed even a series or number of distrusts. Notwithstanding what might have arisen, we are told that nothing caused any wavering on the part of Abraham. He was sure. He knew what God had promised him. He grew strong in his faith. He stood firm. He was fully convinced. There was no distrust, no doubting that God was able to do what He had promised. Abraham gave glory to God.
There are many aspects of Abraham that I should like for myself.
I thank You for the wonderful example of Abraham. I pray that I might emulate his good characteristics. I feel I can do this as I take further hold, and understanding, of the God I can trust. I want to know You, Lord. You are faithful. You are trustworthy. You have plans for me. You make many good promises to me. All of this I reach out to. I embrace You. Draw me closer, Lord. My faith and my trust are growing. I pray for even greater increase. I pray, in Jesus’ name, for more growth in You. Amen.
Thursday, 16 February 2012
...These are the words of the holy one, the true one,
who has the key of David,
who opens and no-one will shut,
who shuts and no one opens. Rev. 3.7
The Holy One is the true one, and He is able to do all things.
I am reminded of the words I received some time ago when God spoke to me through an intermediary. He said He would open doors for me and He wanted me to walk through whatever doors He opened. He also said He would close doors, and He did not want me to attempt to go through any doors that He would close.
Right now, a lot seems to be happening in my life. There are doors that might be opening. Is God at work? Do I wait to see if He opens wide any of these doors? Do I ask Him to firmly shut any doors that He might not be opening for me?
I have often told people that I do not consider God to be tricky or sneaky. His word exhorts us to ask, to seek and to knock – and we will receive, we will find, and the door will be opened.
I thank You for who You are and I thank You for adopting me as Your precious well-loved child.
I seek to do Your will. I want only to do Your will.
I ask You, Precious Father, to open wide the doors that You would have me go through. And I ask You to close absolutely any doors, any doors whatsoever, that may be open or opening if it is not Your will that I go through them.
I love You. I want so much to work for You. Hallelujah! Praise Your Name. Amen.
Sunday, 12 February 2012
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Rev. 3.20
These are well-known words of Jesus. What is not so well known, or perhaps not so well remembered, is that they form part of the message He sends to the church in Laodicea.
He has accused the church of being lukewarm – neither hot nor cold. This is the saddest position for any church, or any believer, or any person in fact, to be in. The church in Laodicea could not, or did not, supply healing for the spiritually sick nor refreshment for the spiritually weary. Jesus warned them that He was about to spit them out of His mouth.
Yet before He has finished His message He is extending this wonderful invitation to them. He says: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” Then He offers Himself, His company and His leading to them.
Verse 20 is sometimes used when inviting a person to receive Jesus, maybe for the first time. This is good. But, as the Revelation context shows, the message is also for those who already know Him but who are not doing so well. The Laodiceans were lukewarm, perhaps they had become complaisant. Maybe, like the Ephesians, they had lost the spark and sparkle of the first love. Others may find themselves closer to Christ than the Laodiceans. Still others may be farther away.
I believe this message is for everyone, wherever they might stand. Jesus is at the door. He is knocking. As He knocks I hear Him calling, “Here I am. Won’t you let me in?” He can be heard through the closed door. Anyone who will open the door will receive Jesus. He will come in and eat, and share with the individual. He will come in and remain for as long as He is allowed. He will feed, strengthen, love, equip and fulfil us as we accept and receive Him.
I thank You from this reminder today. You are truly there for everyone. Whether we are hot, lukewarm or cold, near to You or far, far away, You stand at the doorway for us all.
You knock, Lord. I see a connection here with Your perpetual intercession at the Father’s right hand for all the saints. Just as You intercede without ceasing, so You are ever at the door, waiting to be heard and to be allowed in.
I pray for those who are far from You, who do not acknowledge You anywhere in their lives. May they hear You knock and call them by name. I pray they will receive Your revelation, open the door and let You in.
I pray for those who already know You but who do not commune and share with You as they might. Some may be closer than others, but all need more of You. I pray they will all hear You knocking. I pray they might hear You say, “You are away from me. Come back! Come closer.” I pray they will hear and respond.
I pray also for myself. My desire is to get much, much closer to You. I believe You are always at the door and waiting. Oh, that I might hear Your voice clearly, beckoning me, inviting me to come closer, to go further with You.
Thank You, Lord for today’s message. May all I have prayed for hear You and respond with open welcome to You. May we bless You as we receive Your blessing of us. Amen.
Wednesday, 8 February 2012
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him. 1 John 2.27
When Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, He said that He would teach me all things and remind me of everything that Jesus has said to me (John 14.26). This is true teaching that comes from the real anointing that is available to me in the Holy Spirit. The NIV Study Bible (p1910) also tells me that the anointing of the Holy Spirit will develop in me the capacity to appreciate and appropriate God’s truth already revealed. By this process, and His teaching in “all things”, the Bible becomes meaningful for me in thought and in daily living. This is the teaching that I want. This anointed teaching brings the truth and reality of God into all of my living. This glorious state is where I want to be. And the Holy Spirit is the way.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus is the only way, there is no other. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us, and to be a constant reminder of Jesus. The Holy Spirit, then, leads us in the ways of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will keep me close to God. I praise God for the Holy Spirit and for the anointing I have felt of God’s Holy Spirit. I pray this anointing to continue and to increase. I cry out, “Come, Holy Spirit, come in power. Fill me and lead me forward in the anointing that is in You. Come, Holy Spirit, I offer myself to You.”
Your Word speaks to me. I thank You for the anointing of Your Holy Spirit who leads and teaches me.
I pray that the anointing will increase. I seek to live the whole of my life in Your Holy Spirit. I surrender. I ask You to take me, just as I am, and make me Yours. Teach me more of You. Let me experience you in greater measure in my life.
Your Word becomes real to me under the guidance of Your Holy Spirit. May this increase and prosper. I ask You to equip and fit me to bring Your Word to others, and I pray that Your Holy Spirit will bring enlightenment to them as I share.
I seek to remain in You. I offer myself. Show me through Your Holy Spirit if there is anything I must do. Show me when to act, and when to be still. I love You, Lord, and my desire is to be pleasing to You in all my ways. I ask Your help in this. Lead me. Have Your way in me, in Jesus’ Name I ask. Amen.