Friday, 31 August 2012
But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. Matt. 26.35
Jesus has told Peter that he will deny him three times, but Peter protests. As the story unfolds there is not even the smallest hint that Peter will stand by Jesus. Yes, he follows Him into the courtyard of the high priest’s home, but his courage fails him. When questioned, he falls to the pattern of denial that Jesus had prophesied.
Peter is often held before us in this example of weakness and ‘folding’. But the truth is that all of the disciples deserted Jesus. He had told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me.” They had all responded as Peter had – Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. (v56)
These events serve as a further reminder that no one is worthy of Jesus. We all fall short and, I’m sure, we all disappoint Him greatly at different times. But this did not stop Him in His mission. He came to seek and to save the lost. He entered the world as a baby – innocent and humble. He left the world by the cruel actions of sinful man, but He remained innocent and humble. His humility saw Him live every moment of His earthly life in obedience to the heavenly Father. His innocence fitted Him as the perfect sacrifice to restore sinful man to a righteous God.
Thank God for Jesus. We ourselves are not worthy, but He enables us to enter into renewed relationship with the Almighty.
This day I especially say Thank You. Thank You for coming to this earth to make the way for me to return to You. Thank You for receiving me back in relationship. Thank You for healing me. Thank You for growing me. Thank You. Amen.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Gen. 2.3
It was apparently much later (Exodus 16) when the Sabbath became established as an official day of rest. But God introduced the concept very early on. He rested, and He likewise calls us to rest in Him.
There are times to set aside, regularly, and rest in Him – to give full focus and attention to Him. This is Sabbath rest.
There is also the “resting in the Lord” which will see me through every minute of every day. When I have things to do, I do them as I rest in Him. This is not easy, but neither is it impossible. And, like many things, it becomes easier with practice.
What power and peace there is to be found in resting in You. I come to You for rest. I look for Sabbath rest, for times of focused and dedicated being with You. I pray also for the ability to rest in You as I go about my daily living.
Forgive me, Lord, for I am not yet able to rest in You for every minute of every day. But this does not reduce my resolve in any way. Lead me deeper, Lord. I want to go further in You. Draw me closer. Let me know the joy of resting in You, of living every moment with You.
I am willing. I come to You with a desire to be obedient. Receive me and draw me closer, in Jesus’ Name I ask. Amen.
Saturday, 25 August 2012
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. Rev. 22.17
I speak as one who hears, and I say “Come!” I invite my Lord and His Spirit to come, to come into my life, to take over, to fill me to overflowing with His presence and power.
I speak as one who is thirsty. I long to come closer to Him. I choose to come. I come willingly and with an open heart to receive Him and an open mind to take in all that my finite mind is able to hold and understand of the infinite.
I receive the free gift of the water of life and I look for this water to fill me, and cleanse me, to wash over me, out of me and touch others with the precious gift of Jesus.
It is wonderful to be invited by You to “Come”, and it is precious to be able to request You to come in greater measure, power and force into my life.
I am thirsty for You. I crave more of You and I humbly ask for more.
I receive the free gift of the water of life. I ask You to wash me continually in the water of life. Let me bathe in it and rejoice in Your holy presence in my life.
I ask this, not selfishly for myself, for I want to share it. I pray for Your anointing and enabling. I pray that I might share Jesus as naturally as drawing breath. The world is in need, great need. Use me, please, Lord.
The free gift of the water of life is there for any who will choose to accept it. I pray that I might be a channel for that water. Yes, Lord, may I be a water carrier for You?
Hear my prayer. Know my heart. Lead me, in Jesus’ Name I ask. Amen.
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Gen. 1.2
Since the beginning the Spirit has been there. Before the world began, while still shapeless and devoid of any life, there was yet life – the life of the Spirit of God.
And this is the richest life that is available to man. God has been there for us since the very start. His power was over all the earth. It still is, although it is often hidden and ignored because He has given both Satan and humanity certain power in transient measure.
The power of evil and “the worldly” often threatens. Yet the Holy Spirit remains – mightier than anything else, ready to enter any situation and bring Godly input.
I thank You for Your Holy Spirit and the presence that is so obviously in my life. I surrender in full measure to the Holy Spirit. I ask You to fill me, to overflow me, and to lead me ever in Your Holy Spirit.
Your presence was on the earth before man came into being. I ask You to be active upon the earth today. Your Spirit is needed.
Dear God, please enter into areas of conflict and stress. Please work by the power of Your Spirit to bring relief.
I ask You to be present in the church in fuller measure. Fill the whole of Your Body with Spirit power. I pray for unity and strength. Let the world see the life that is available in You.
You are present on earth, Lord, in the form of Your Holy Spirit. Bring further manifestation. I pray for healings and deliverances, salvations and releases of power. I ask for these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Monday, 20 August 2012
You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139.5,6
The thought of being hemmed in by God could raise different emotions in people. One may feel trapped, unable to function in oneself owing to the ever-presence of God, watching, maybe judging, ever critical and ready to condemn.
Or one may see the joy of living always in the divine presence, of knowing that He is ever there – guiding, protecting and loving.
This latter is the choice for me. I do not see God as a threat, hindrance or impediment. God is my liberty. He is my strength and enabling. He is my protection and safety. He is my companion and friend.
We have a choice in how we see God. I know how I have chosen, and I can rest in this choice. Yet, as the psalmist rightly points out, I cannot comprehend why God would go to these lengths for me. It is beyond my understanding. Is it, indeed, some lofty divine ideal that I cannot grasp? I wonder! When I front up and ask God why He would care for me as He does, the answer is both simple and sweet. He says: “It is because I love you.”
O Loving God,
I welcome Your presence behind, before and all over me. I rejoice that You hem me in, that I can’t escape You because, quite simply, I don’t want to.
You are the source of all things to me. I press in. I seek You with all of my being, and I delight to know that You are there. I don’t understand how You can be so caring of me, but I accept. I receive You into all of my life and I ask You to fill every part of me, in Jesus’ Name.
Saturday, 18 August 2012
David said about him:
“I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.” Acts 2.25
Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s covenant promise to David: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom (2 Sam. 7.12).
But this present verse talks to me of David’s walk with God. David walked always with the Lord. Wherever he went God was with him, and he knew it. As he walked in this knowledge he was unshakeable.
God’s Word assures us of His perpetual presence (Heb.13.5; Deut.31.6), but we do not always remember this and the lack of this full awareness often robs us of the covering of unshakeability.
I pray that I may always see You before me. I claim Your Word:
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
I hold this word close and pray that its revelation will always be with me.
As I progress with You, knowing that You are constantly, and constant, at my right hand, let me live in unshakeability.
I claim another of Your Words:
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
With You alongside me, Lord, nothing is impossible. And I say this is the way it should be for the genuine and committed Christian.
Lord God, lead me forward, unshaken and strong in You, able to do anything and everything in the power of the One who strengthens me.
Hallelujah! Mighty God.
Hallowed be Your Name. Amen.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6.47,48
The person who builds their life on the words of Jesus – hearing them, receiving them, and putting them into practice – builds a firm and sure foundation which will withstand all attacks.
Those who follow Jesus may not have an easy life, but they will live solid in love and in truth; they will live a life of integrity, knowing peace in themselves and peace with others.
The Word of God is a sure footing, a light for the way and an encouragement at all times.
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I thank You.
I seek to build my life on this foundation that is You. I seek Your guidance. Let me dig down deep into You and know You intimately. May I hear all that You would say to me. Give me, please, a willingness to accept Your words to me, and to be open to anything that You would have me think, say or do. Give me the courage to follow through, and the peace that comes only when I am obedient to the Father’s will.
I pray for all those who would follow You. May they give themselves to You in unqualified measure. May they ever be led by You.
I thank You and praise Your Name. Amen.
Sunday, 12 August 2012
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24.27
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24.45
In both these cases the reference is to the Old Testament writings. Indeed, at this time the New Testament was not in existence.
I know from my own studies that Jesus “inhabits” the Old Testament Scriptures. They are full of his presence and proclamation. And now, we are privileged to know the New Testament writings and the further, and more overt, revelation of Jesus. I want to know and understand all I can about my Lord and Saviour. And I want to know Him deeply, intimately, lovingly and practically.
I trust I do not misread my heart. I want to know You. I want to live in You and with You, and I want to share You with others in a real and life-changing way.
I can learn much about You from the Holy Scriptures. I ask You to open my mind as You did with those early disciples, and I ask You to explain to me what the Scriptures, all of them – both Old and New Testaments, mean. By Your grace let me understand all I can about You. I ask also that You would draw me close to You in real and intimate union. I ask for a powerful relationship, a true abiding of You in me and me in You.
I ask, then, for God-given opportunities to share with others. Out of my relationship with You I desire to reach others and minister to them, leading them into their own relationship with You.
Sweet Lord, know the deep desires of my heart. Hear this, my ardent prayer. And respond, I beg You, for I ask it in Your precious and powerful Name. Hallelujah! Amen.