Friday, 28 November 2014

Build up

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
      Rom. 14.19

Paul has spoken at length against the negatives and he has now moved on to the positives.

His present encouragement is to do that which leads to peace, and which builds us up. We can so very easily slip into critical mode, and, before we fully realise it, we are pulling each other down.

When I reach out to another in genuine peace, I have their wellbeing in mind. Also, as I do so, I build them up (I edify them) but I am also strengthened and fulfilled myself. The action is mutually beneficial; all parties are edified. How good is this approach! Yet how easy it is to miss it, and to lapse into negative behaviour.

Paul’s encouragement is to make every effort. There may be times when very little effort is required for me to edify another. Conversely, I could encounter times of real challenge, when I am called to stretch myself, making every effort - and likely some sacrifice as well.

Am I willing to do this? I’d like to think so. Yet, as in so much of my living now, I sense that I will most certainly require input from God. As I allow, He will equip, enable and lead me in actions that will help and bless others - and result in our mutual edification.

Lord God, 

I hear what You’re telling me through Paul. I give myself to this exhortation to make every effort to reach out to others in affirming manner.

As with many things, I ask for Your help. When it’s not clear to me, please show me the way. Equip, enable and lead me to do what You would have me do. Thank You. Amen.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, “They will respect my son.” Mark 12.6

What struck me as I read this particular verse from the parable of the tenants is the absolute persistence of the owner. Servant after servant was rejected, abused and ill-treated, and yet he would not give up.

Traditionally, and quite rightly, the story is seen to illustrate God’s giving of His Son in His great love for His creation of humanity. But I’m particularly picking up today the absolute focus and intensity of God’s desire to rescue humanity. I know we have a choice yet I do not hear God say, “If you want it, salvation is here. But it’s really up to you.” No, rather it is as if He says, “I will not give up. I will pursue you to the ends of the earth. I love you and want you to receive and enjoy the very best I have for you. I will not give up until I have won you.”

He pursued me - and I was not aware of it. I  am so grateful God persisted. My prayer now is for more. May God draw me closer and take me even deeper in Him. Hallelujah!

Holy God, Loving Father,

Thank You for pursuing me. I moved so far away from You that You meant nothing to me. Yet, all the while, I can see myself as paramount in your eyes. Thank You for persisting and drawing me back to You.

I respect You and seek to honour You with all of my being. I respectfully, yet somewhat recklessly, ask for more of You. Fill me, please, to overflowing. Let me know the fullness of Your Spirit in me. Allow me, lead me to minister out of that fullness. May I touch people with that same love that You have touched me. I ask for miracles and wonders to flow from the touch of love that I minister in Your grace and with Your Spirit.

I am in earnest for these things and ask them, believing, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Do not...and do!

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in you brother’s way. Rom. 14.13

To cease passing judgment on others is one action ( or is it a non-action?) that Paul highlights for me. His next words are similarly “passive” - do not do anything that might cause him to stumble.

I am reminded of the Ten Commandments given to Moses on the mountain. I call them the negative commandments, for each one is a “Do not …” Likewise, in this present verse: do not pass judgment; do not place a stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.

I am mindful of these “do nots” and I will endeavour to abide by them in my relationships, in all my relationships. Let me never seek to cause harm, injury or a “stumbling” to others.

I remember also the two commandments that Jesus gave. I see these as summarising the earlier ten commandments, but they do so in positive way. These are the “Do…”  encouraging  commandments: Do love God with all of your being, and Do love your neighbour (any person with whom you have some form of contact) as you would wish to be loved and treated yourself. 

Let me remember the “Do-nots”, but let me also apply myself to loving others in positive words and acts. As I combine these behaviours I just might spread God’s love and His invitation into relationship.

Almighty and Most Loving God,

Help me, please, to live out the “Do not” and also the “Do” commandments in my life. 

I ask for the presence and empowering of Your Holy Spirit that I might live, more and more, in ways that will please and delight You. 

Lead me through this day, and beyond. Amen. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you  look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.     Rom. 14.10

I am strongly reminded of Jesus’ words,  “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8.8)

I also see the absolute truth in some other words of Paul: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3.23)

No one is exempt from sin - not one single person on this earth. Under God’s law no one has the right to judge or condemn another. We are all sinners alike, and judgement of us all rests with God. One day I shall stand before His judgment seat and I will be called to give account of myself. I pray that I am able to give Him acceptable accounting of my life on this earth.

I know there are things I have done that would have been eminently better not done. And there have been things undone that ought to have been done. Again I identify with Paul: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Rom. 7.15)

I know full well what is right and acceptable and what is not so. This is especially true as I have matured. Yet I falter, and I stumble. What hope is there for me? My hope is in my Lord Jesus Christ. He has made it possible for me to turn to the Father immediately I am aware of my failing. As I confess and repent before my Gracious God, I am forgiven and restored.

He is there for me - and He is there for everyone. Instead of judging and condemning, let me pray for those involved and ask the Father to draw them into confession, repentance, forgiveness and restoration.

Lord God,

I thank You for this insight. When I am tempted to judge and condemn, let me rather pray for my brother or sister that they would turn to You in confession and repentance, and seek your healing.     Amen.

My book “God Talk” is available through major Internet booksellers.
A taste of the book's content can be seen in the You Tube clip (Search: Peter Francis - "God Talk").

Sunday, 16 November 2014


Jesus said, “neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” Mark 11.33b

The establishment leaders had challenged Jesus by questioning His authority. Jesus responded with a question to them that they could not answer. He then refused to disclose His authority to them.

Believers do not suffer this dilemma, for Jesus has told us quite clearly who He is:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28.18)

Even if I did not have this and similar assurances from the Word of God, I think I would not be troubled by uncertainty over Jesus’ identity and authority. He has shown Himself  to me so clearly as the image of the invisible God (Col. 1.15). He has affirmed Himself as my Saviour and my Lord. I am blessed that I have no need to ask Jesus to prove Himself, or to question His authority. I absolutely  believe that He is able to do all things (Matt. 19.26). 

Furthermore, with Him in me, through Him I can also do all things (Phil. 4.13). Hallelujah! What a mighty God I follow.

Lord God, Wonderful Jesus,

I thrill and delight that I do not need to question your authority. I have full assurance that You are the Son of God, who was sent to earth in human form to seek and to save that which was lost. I rejoice that You found me. I declare, yet again, that You are my Saviour and my Lord. I surrender the whole of my being to You and ask You to lead me into the full and perfect will of the Father. 

I want to follow You as truly as I am able to, to serve the Father in all that I do, to please Him in all that I am.

You have given me the most wonderful example. I pray You will continue to show me from that example and guide me into the fullness of life in You.

Lead me on, in Your precious name I ask. Amen.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Wearing Him!

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Rom. 13.14

I read the words clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am immediately excited. I see myself “wearing” Jesus just as I wear whatever clothes I dress myself in. When I put on a favourite shirt, people see me in my shirt. When I clothe myself with Jesus, praise God that people see Jesus when they look at me. Oh, how exciting is this!

Jesus is already inside me. He has been for a number of years now. Over those years I have experienced Him in growing measure. He did not effect an immediate takeover when I first invited Him in. There was a deal of work to be done in me. Gradually He has worked to heal me; He has released me; and He is constantly in the process of refining me. I pray that He becomes more visible in me with each passing day.

Paul tells me not to think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Such desires can be many and diverse, and I could so easily be “ambushed” by the enemy. Like everyone else I am not exempt from worldly temptation. However, I can remind myself of the presence of Jesus in me. I turn to Him and seek His help. As I allow, He will lead and guide me. He may lead me to look in a mirror and see His image marked upon me. I may still need to fight through, but I can do so knowing that I am not alone.

Precious Jesus,

I thrill at the reality of clothing myself with You. cover me, please, dear Lord. I receive You as my constant companion. 

I open myself to the fullness of You - in me and all over me. Strengthen me to withstand the ungodly pressures of the world. Remind me that You are always there to help and guide me. Thank You.  Amen.

My book “God Talk” is available through major Internet booksellers.
A taste of the book's content can be seen in the You Tube clip (Search: Peter Francis - "God Talk").

Monday, 10 November 2014

Heart truth

“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the Sea’, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”             Mark 11.23 

Jesus always speaks the truth, yet I respond each time to the reminders of Scripture when they record, so simply, “I tell you the truth.” I find it so exciting to embrace this reality. I can always turn to Jesus and know the truth of any situation. Praise God!

And the truth of God seems to be that we may expect miracles (like the mountain thrown into the sea) when we truly believe.

For me, a key word in the above verse is “heart”. Jesus asks that there be no doubt in my heart.
This helps me a lot, because I think I find it easier to believe  in my heart than I do in my mind. And, if I truly believe - beyond and without doubt, in my heart, it is to be hoped that my head will follow.

Yes, I am so very encouraged. I realise that my apprehension is in my mind rather that my heart. And I choose to call it apprehension because I know I don’t fully doubt. I truly believe the Scriptures that remind me that God can do anything, that nothing is impossible to Him - Matt.19.26; Mark 10.27; Luke 18.27 

My heart embraces the fullness of a miracle-working God. I think my mind decides that it just won’t work this way for me. I need a re-alignment, with the head coming into accord with the heart.

Lord God,

I thank You for this insight of head and heart, and the likely disparity. I pray that You will reinforce and increase the faith that I know is in my heart that You can do anything.

Please grow this faith to believe that You will work wonders and miracles in my ministry for You. I ask also that You will align my head with my heart. As surely as I will fervently believe in my heart for signs and wonders and miracles to happen, let my head so agree and affirm.

I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Outstanding debt

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.                                              Rom. 13.8

All debts may be paid and cleared save only the debt to love. The commandment is to love your neighbour – and to keep on loving. I regard whoever I may be in contact with as my neighbour. I see Paul parallel this in his reference to fellowman.

Earlier in this letter Paul touches on the need for me to be not in debt. I must seek to keep myself free of debt, for debt binds me to another in a way that is not healthy. But, to be bound to one – anyone – in love is good.

It is good to be in accord with God’s wishes. As I give myself to this, I know that He is with me. He is love! He lavishes love on me, and He delights when I spread His love, sharing it freely with others.

There are, however, those that I will find it difficult to love. What do I do then?

I am again reminded of Jesus’ words, “Come, follow me.” If I were less focused or so moved, I could be tempted to see these words as heavy and onerous, especially in regard to loving some people. I don’t see them thus. Rather by His words I see Jesus challenge me and also encourage me. For He says, “I am the way. This is the way, walk in it. Yoke yourself with me and you will find the strength and resolve that you need.” I can willingly yoke myself to Jesus for I know the truth of these words. He will never leave me, but ever strengthen and support me, and walk alongside me.
As I allow Him, He will lead me in loving all others.

Dear Lord, Precious Jesus,

I so often hear you say, “Come, follow me.” I hear You and I respond. Firstly, Lord, I come. Just as I am I come to You. I open myself to Your embrace and I feel the infilling of the sweetest love You have for me.

I commit to following You. Lead me, Lord, I’m Yours. Let us journey forth together. Hallelujah!                                                    Amen.

My book “God Talk” is available through major Internet booksellers.
A taste of the book's content can be seen in the You Tube clip (Search: Peter Francis - "God Talk").

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Feed Him

On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.” Rom. 12.20

Paul quotes Proverbs (25.21,22) in this verse with the possibility that “heaping burning coals on the enemy’s head” could result in his repentance. Again, Paul’s message is against vengeance.

I think I would surely struggle to feed a starving enemy. Yet again I understand the wisdom of releasing my enemy to God. I would not be able to bring my foe to repentance, but God can do anything! In order for God to act I need to let go. If God tells me to feed my enemy then this is what I must do.

This reflection is reinforcing to me what must be my priority. And this is obedience to God. I cannot pretend to be a Christian. Either I am a follower of Christ or I am not! When God tells me to do a thing, like feeding a hungry enemy, and I do not do it, then I am not acting as a true follower of Christ - and any resultant posturing would be pretence. 

I cannot pretend. God has wrought so much good in my life. He has brought such a release to me, a release into the person He created  me to be. He is still working on this.

I have such joy in the person He is showing me He created  me to be that I could not possible do anything against Him. 

Yet I could well struggle to treat my enemy decently. Again, I need God!

Loving God,

My deepest desire is to please You. Yet there may be many times when this is not easy for me to do. 

Again I seek Your help. I see the partnership that I live in with You and I’m reminded, once more, of how much the weaker partner I am. Help me, please. Lead me in ways that will please and delight You. I believe we can do this together. I thank You, Hallelujah! Amen.

Saturday, 1 November 2014


Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” says the Lord.       Rom. 12.19

I notice how Paul writes to his “friends”. As I read  these words I see myself as a friend of Paul and I receive what he says as the counsel and advice of a caring friend.

Paul urges me against revenge. I could easily be tempted to consider revenge if someone were to act unfairly or abusively toward me. Indeed, I might find myself quite incensed as  the recipient of unjust treatment. It would be difficult for me to heed Paul’s words to not take revenge.

Then I hear what he follows through with. He reminds me that God has declared that He will repay, for it is His to avenge. God cannot proceed if I do not leave room for Him.

I remember that I am God’s child. I know Him as Father. Indeed, I know Him as the most loving father. Furthermore He is equipped to bring far more effective remedy that I could possible achieve.

My mind takes me beyond revenge to a more appropriate resolution. In my hands, revenge would possibly stop at justice - and, I must confess, it could  just be a “justice” that is more favourable to me. Indeed, more of a strict punishment. God, however, can effect action to satisfy my hurt, but He can further lead the offender into healing or re-formation. God can bring the other person to a place of wholeness - and goodness! 


Almighty God,

I know You to be all-mighty. I also know You as my loving Dad. My desire is to release any who hurt or offend me to You. Help me to do so, 

I pray as well for the restoration of such people to a state of wholeness and goodness. May they also know the wonderful relationship that is found in You. Amen.