Saturday, 28 November 2015


“We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”                                                                                                                          Luke 18.31b - 33

Jerusalem was the centre, the heart of the Jewish faith. It was to be in the very heartland of their connection with God that Jesus would be handed over to the Gentiles. Gentiles, of that time, were those not of the Jewish faith.

Likewise there are Gentiles today who may be described as not of the Christian faith. As Jesus is encountered by these people, He is likely to be mocked, insulted, spat on, flogged and killed. Cities, and even nations which, in the past, may have been compared with Jerusalem in terms of being heartlands of the Christian faith, have become modern day deserts of disbelief.

As I reflect on these comparisons it raises the question of what the Christian might do when challenged by a hostile society. In Jerusalem the disciples deserted their leader. That is, until they were filled with the Holy Spirit after Christ’s resurrection and ascension. Then they were bold.

The Holy Spirit is with us today and, I think, believers should be bold in the Spirit, but also wise. Whilst I hope I will never desert my Lord, I pray I will not be the cause of Him being mocked or insulted. This is where I can be led by the Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus,

It grieves me when You are derided. I pray I may never be the catalyst for any mocking or criticism directed at You.

In these apostate times it is difficult to witness effectively for You. I ask for the help of Your Holy Spirit to enable me to share Your love in appropriate and meaningful ways.

There is nothing derisive about my relationship with You. May the truth of You be seen in my life, in Your precious name I ask.                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").

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

No impossibility

Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”    Luke 18.26, 27

These words of Jesus are greatly encouraging. The rich man illustrated the difficulty, even the impossibility, of letting go of worldly wealth in order to embrace heavenly treasure. The disciples sound almost defeated – “Who, then, can be saved?” But Jesus breaks through with the declaration that nothing is impossible with God. Hallelujah! Praise to our great God.

I find myself linking this promise with the story that opens this chapter of Luke’s gospel, the persistent widow who got the judge to grant her justice. Jesus applies this story to those who cry out to God.

Of course, I want that all should be saved and none should perish. But there are some people I particularly want to see enter the kingdom of God. I pray for them, but worldly preoccupations seem to be much more important to them, and God is of no consequence.

Jesus tells me that nothing is impossible with God. He tells me that God hears me as I cry out to Him. It’s clear then what I need to do.

Mighty God,

I know You have the power to save and I rejoice that the initiative is with You.

I call out for the salvations of those I know who are not yet with You. My desire is to see them in the Kingdom, and my plea is that You will draw them to You at a time when they are ready to give a positive response.

I thank You for my own salvation. I thank You for those precious souls I know that You have already drawn to Yourself, and I dare to thank You for those who are yet to come. I pray for them now, believing, in Jesus’ name.            Amen.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Grace and mercy

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ ”                    Luke 18.13

Luke describes the context of this parable thus: To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else…  (v9).

Jesus tells of two men. One, a Pharisee, prayed about himself. His words to God speak of his own goodness. In contrast, the tax collector is filled with awareness of his own, miserable, sinful state. He knows that any righteousness he may receive will come to him, not by his own self-proclaimed good deeds, but purely by God’s mercy.

This is the case for us all. God clearly reminds us on this through Paul’s words to the Corinthian church, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12.9).

I stand with the tax collector, and present myself before God as a wretched sinner. This is the grossness of my weakness. I can come no other way. God, in His mercy, bestows grace upon me and pardons me from all my sin through the supreme sacrifice that Jesus made for me.

Yet, as I reflect, God draws me to Him in the first place, and this likely through the power of His Holy Spirit active here on earth. I am, therefore, “victim” – if such a word fits – perhaps I should qualify it as “glorious victim” – to this “God conspiracy”. God chose to take hold of me, to draw me to Him and, by His grace, release me from every miserable sin, to enjoy present and eternal sweet and loving relationship with Him. Hallelujah!

Mighty God,

I indeed come to You as the tax collector did. I am a sinner and not worthy, in my own right, to look up to heaven. But I have been saved by Jesus and released from all sin. I rejoice in You. I sing praise to You in the highest heaven. I can come to You only because You draw me. I am so blessed. I thank You, O how I thank You, Precious Saviour.              Amen.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Like lightning

“For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.”                                                                Luke 17.24

The return of Jesus in glory will be spectacular. His coming will be sudden, unexpected and public. He will light up the sky like crazy flashes of lightning which are unpredictable and uncontrollable. When Jesus returns He will be in full control.

The reference by Luke to flashes and lighting up the sky leads me to the contrast with His human death when the sun stopped shining (Luke 23.45) and darkness came over the whole land (v44). Darkness ensues when a light goes out. Jesus is the light of the world (John 9.5). When human life was crushed out of Him the light went out.

But that light is to return – more gloriously and brightly, more intensely and intently than ever. It will not be ignored. It will herald in eternity. Humanity has been forewarned, but will humanity take notice?

We are blessed that the light has not been totally extinguished. We have the Holy Spirit who keeps the light alive. Some choose to let that light shine brightly into their lives, while others seem to ignore the only light that can truly bring them life.

Lord Jesus,

You are the light of the world and I rejoice that Your light shines for me still through the agency of the Holy Spirit. I ask You to keep me ever in that light. May it never darken for me but, rather, let it grow brighter each day. Draw me closer. Shine love brilliantly in me and through me.

I give myself to You with the simple request that You cleanse me and refill me with You. May I be ready for the time of Your glorious return! I offer to You all my faults and failings. I ask You to loose me from them. Set me free, please. I want to be Yours, and Yours alone.

May we spend this day, and all of eternity, together? In Your precious name I ask.

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").