Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”                                                                                                Luke 13.14

Jesus had broken “the rules”. Come to think of it, Jesus often broke the rules, particularly the “rule” about doing no work (which seemed to include God’s healing) on the Sabbath.

The synagogue ruler, like the scribes and Pharisees and teachers of the law of the time lived to “the rules” – their rules! They had developed a set of requirements, an extensive set, that saw them exercise power, but which had little, if anything, to do with God’s will. The religious leaders of the day seemed more concerned with their own agenda than with seeking, and fulfilling, God’s will. And, even then, as Jesus points out, they broke the rules when it suited them.

Jesus demonstrated one inviolate “rule” in the life He led on earth – to do the Father’s will.

The whole of the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, indicate that the Father can do anything. Humanity cannot, and should not seek to reduce the Father’s will to a set of rules. The Israelite religious leaders sought to do this and, over time, developed hundreds of their own rules. The result was the utmost oppression of the people.

Jesus gave two clear commands to assist us to live in God’s will. The first was to love God with all that we are, with every fibre of our being. The second was to love our neighbours as ourselves. This second command infers a healthy self-respect. And so, in living to God’s will, we are drawn into the fullness of love, love for God, our fellow creatures, and ourselves. This is all-embracing love. No one is excluded. Praise God!

Does living to God’s will then mean that we throw out the rulebook? It depends whose “rules” we live to. The mighty, supernatural ways of God contain just a few simple “rules” which all centre on love, compassion and care. The manifold rules that humanity develops often dilute and even extinguish love, in any shape or form. Let me then live to God’s way. I don’t believe He will lead me in any wrong directions, although His way may well be challenging, strange and difficult to believe or receive, in a world that lives more nearly to its own agenda.

I am reminded of the sound of a different drum. Let me walk to this sound.

Loving God,

Again, it seems, the question of agenda arises. Again I say quite clearly that I set aside any agenda of my own, to fully live to Your agenda for me.

I yearn to follow Jesus and live to fulfil Your will for every day of my life. I am too aware of my failure in this. Even now, I struggle with issues that would lead outside of Your will. I hand myself over to You and shout out “Lord, have Your way, Your absolute way, in me and with me.”

May I live in Your way of love. May Your Holy Spirit lead me into a lifestyle of adoration of You, of healthy self-respect and acceptance, and of sincere love for all my fellow beings.

Let me truly follow Jesus. As I study His life here on earth, please draw me closer. In the words that He spoke let me find a deeper relationship with Him, with You.

Wonderful Saviour, Mighty Creator, God of All, I’m sold out to You. Help me, O please help me, to resist those things that I ought. Enable me to go forward and live, daily, in the fullness of relationship with You. Out of this relationship may I grow in love for others. May I have opportunities to extend Your love, and may I respond to such opportunities in ways that will gladden Your heart.

Use me, if You will, to shine the light of Jesus in the darkest of places. Let me bring hope to the seemingly hopeless. May I work miracles in accord with the promises of my Saviour and Lord.

Simply, Lord, let me live to Your perfect will. Let me honour You in who I am and what I do. I need You for this. I desperately need You. Hear my prayer, and my urgent plea. Lead me forward, in the fullness of Your Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name I ask.                                                                                                                                                               Amen.

Sunday, 27 September 2015


"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him."             Luke 12. 35,36

The theme of this passage is watchfulness and alertness. Through the parable, Jesus is comparing believers with the servants of a household. I think the example is a good one. The faithful are indeed called to serve, and to be ready and willing to serve at any time - even in the second or third watch of the night.

There is also further revelation when Jesus relates how the master will dress himself to serve, will have the servants recline at the table, and will come and wait on them. Indeed, Jesus is the master servant. Already He has done so much for me. And He is ever at work. Daily He leads me, by the agency of the Holy Spirit, through the process of sanctification.

The day will come when He will gather me to Himself, to spend eternity in relationship with my  holy and loving God.

I want to be ever watchful and alert. But I also want to support these characteristics with action. Jesus warns of the fate of one who knows his master's will but does not do what his master wants.(v47).

May I know God's will and may I willingly do all He asks of me. May I maintain an attitude of permanent watchfulness and alertness.

Lord God,

You are my everything. I seek to live in the fullness of Your will. I pray for an ongoing attitude of being ever watchful and alert. I pray for wisdom to know Your will, and obedience to act out that will in all things at all times.

May I truly follow my Lord Jesus. I give myself over to You for equipping and correction. I will not always do what is pleasing to You and  I ask Your forgiveness. Let this not quench my desire to walk with You in deepest intimacy, to receive and to share Your love with all I meet. I love You, Lord. Amen.


He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.”                                                                                         Matt. 13.11

Jesus is responding to the disciples’ question of “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” (v 10). His answer is highly significant. God shares His “secrets” with some, but not with all. What is the criterion that privies us to sharing in God’s secrets? Is it belief? I’m not sure! I know a number of people who seem to know something of the mysteries of heaven, and it is a joy for me to be able to share with such people. I also know a number of people who would readily admit to being “Christian”, yet they don’t seem to know the reality of God.

Perhaps the first of heaven’s secrets for me is to know God – to really know Him, and to experience Him daily. Indeed, to live with Him and to know Him intimately in every act of daily living. This has been (and continues to be) the most wonderful gift to me.

From this beautiful and enduring base, God brings further revelation to me. I will only ever know about God what He chooses to reveal of Himself to me. I experience “suddenlies” when, quite without notice, God will surprise me in the most beautiful and wonderful ways.

I cherish my life in Him. It gives me the essence of my life on earth. God sustains me; He leads me and motivates me. I am so blessed, and so very grateful.

Dear Lord,

Again You have brought me to a place of deep and wonderful sharing. I neither planned nor expected this. You have surprised me. I thank You sincerely.

I give myself to the ongoing journey with You. May the intimacy deepen. May the revelations bring more of heaven’s secrets to my understanding. I thank You. I love 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").

Thursday, 24 September 2015


“ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilise it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”    Luke 13. 8,9

Jesus’ conversation with the crowd concerns repentance. Jesus cites two examples (otherwise unknown) of people seemingly being punished by death. He tells the people, however, that the victims were no more guilty than the rest of us. We all need to repent, otherwise we perish.

He then tells a parable. The owner of a vineyard had a fig tree which, over three years, had borne no fruit. The owner instructed the vineyard worker to cut down the fig tree. But the worker intervened and suggested, instead, that he tend and fertilise the fig tree for one year to see if it would bear fruit.

The parable is in the context of the need to repent. In the time of telling, the fig tree may have represented a reprobate Israelite. Transferring the story to today, the fig tree may be seen as any unrepentant soul. And Jesus’ message is that all need to be fully repentant.

What then of the vineyard worker? I see this man as Jesus. Jesus facilitates our repentance. Jesus intervenes on our behalf. He tends and fertilises the “fig tree” for as long as it takes. Jesus can “dig around” our roots and aerate (bring life into) the soil we exist in. Jesus is the fertilizer we need for healthy life in God. However long a season of unfruitfulness we experience, Jesus can get us on the right course in a very short time.

Lord Jesus,

You tell us clearly that You are the way, the truth and the life. I embrace You in all those things. I repent in the fullest measure to which I am able. I rejoice that You have taken me over and brought me from a place of barrenness into a fruitful life. You have dug around the soil that I live in. You have brought life into my life. You continue to feed me as I look to You.

Loving Saviour, may I always steady my gaze on You. May Your Holy Spirit lead me, support me and strengthen me in this. May I become ever more fruitful in You.

I ask these things, believing, in Your glorious name.           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").