Sunday, 31 July 2016


John answered, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven.”                                                                                                                John 3.27

This statement is reflective of many in the Scriptures. They are there, but hardly noticeable. We read them, but do we really take in what they say? Do we ponder the depth of truth that they contain?

Another view of what John is saying, maybe, is to express it as: everything you have comes from Heaven. Everything Good, that is. And how true!

Salvation comes from God. Only God can forgive our sins. Certainly we can, and need to, forgive each other if wrong occurs, but only God can remove the stigma of sin from our lives.

Natural talents and supernatural giftings alike come from God. And how He uses these in us to bless others! As we do, we are wonderfully blessed ourselves.

Another of the great gifts of heaven is faith. I see faith most definitely as a God-given gift, and I pray for a good measure, a great measure of this gift.

There are many other gifts, which I might group under the heading of “answered prayer”. Jesus invites me to ask. He tells me that, if I ask in His name, if my request is in line with God’s character and being, then I will receive. But I must believe for that which I ask. This involves me in the process, and I’m only just getting clearer understanding in this matter of asking, in faith. I shall persist, and give thanks to God for every good gift He blesses me with.

Mighty and Gracious God,

I thank You for the wonderful gifts You have blessed me with – the power of salvation and the promise of eternal life. I thank You for this present life and the new day You have given me. I thank You that I can come to You in humble request and belief. I ask for an increase in faith, and that it will continue to increase.

Jesus knew You and understood how You could truly do anything. I want this also. I ask You to lead me progressively to this.

I ask, believing, in Jesus’ 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").

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Cleansing the Temple

Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.                                                                                                                       John 2.15

Jesus had gone into the temple and had seen the way in which people had desecrated the sanctity of God’s dwelling place. He saw those who sold cattle, sheep and doves. He found money changers established there to carry on lucrative trade in the house of God. Luke records Jesus as saying: “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” (Luke 19.46)

Jesus cleansed the temple. He drove out the objects of desecration, removing the taint from that Godly place. I note that He did not expel the delinquent people, but He rebuked them and exhorted them to right behaviour. In His sinless state He was perfectly qualified to bring about this release.

And what about me? Paul tells me that my body is a temple of God. But I abuse it. With errant thoughts, careless words and disobedient actions I desecrate this holy place that God has called me to. I try not to do this, and I believe I must continue to work towards keeping myself clean for Him. But, even as I do, I realise that I will not succeed on my own. Just as Jesus cleansed the temple at Jerusalem, so He is the only one that can cleanse me. He can set me free. He can purify me and consecrate me into my holy purpose. Hallelujah!

Gracious God,

I come to You as a sinner. I am guilty of misbehaving and misusing Your holy temple, which is my body. Forgive me, Lord. I try to keep pure, but I cannot achieve this on my own.

You are my Saviour and my salvation. I rejoice in You and I offer myself freely to Your cleansing and restoring power. I ask You to work in me, remove what is displeasing and replace it with more Christ-likeness.

Lord Jesus, have Your way in me, in Your precious name I pray.                 Amen.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Whatever He asks

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”                  John 2.5

This is quite an amazing statement. Jesus’ mother had informed Him that the wine had run out at the wedding feast. His reply had been to say, virtually, “That’s nothing to do with us!” Yet she had responded with this instruction to the servants. Despite His words, she felt sure He would act. She knew He would do something. Her confidence was so strong that she prepared the servants.

And in her words to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” I find a challenge. These words arrest me, and raise questions. Would I do whatever He asks of me? Would I do it without question or hesitation? Has He, perhaps, asked something of me and I have not responded? If I deny Him, will He give me a second chance? How much am I willing to do for Him?

Further impact is made by the reality of verse 7: Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

They did what He had asked of them without demur or complaint. Could they not have retorted, “It’s wine we’re short of not water”? “What good will water be when the guests are looking for wine?” “How foolish will I look in what you’ve asked me to do?” No, none of these things is mentioned. And, when He tells them to draw some of the water (wine?) and take it to the chief steward, they simply comply. What an amazing example.

Indeed I have gained two valuable insights through this reading. One is, to expect Jesus to act when there is a need. And the other is to be willing to do whatever He asks of me.

Precious Lord Jesus,

I pray that, like Mary, I will hold the utter conviction that You will act when there is a need. I pray also that I will respond, willingly, to do anything You ask of me. May I hear You clearly, and may I be moved to respond without question or hesitation however impossible the request may seem.

For nothing is impossible with You. 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").