Wednesday, 29 August 2018
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12.30
For me, another way of saying this is “Love God with all of you.” Yes, Yes, Yes!
This is an encouragement – we may say it is a command – but I receive it as an encouragement from Jesus to hold nothing back in my love and adoration of God.
My heart is the very essence of me. I seek a heart-filling of Jesus. With Him in my heart I am open and receptive.
My soul is where a lot of my worldly emotion takes place. I seek a soul sold out to God and led by Him.
My mind sometimes chooses to think carnal thoughts. I seek to take every thought captive to Christ.
What strength do I have? However much, I surrender to Him. I look to live in His strength and not my own.
I come to You with all of my being. I surrender all of me to You. Take my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength, and make them Yours.
Fill me with Your presence. Own me completely. Receive my praise and adoration, my worship and reverence.
I love you, Lord. I want this love I have for You to fill my heart, my soul and my mind. With all the strength I have, I seek to love You.
I ask for more. Strengthen me even further, mighty God. Fill me with Your love. Saturate me. Consume me.
Be with me, in a love that knows no bounds. All things are possible with You.
I would do all things in You.
Thank you, Lord, Mighty God. Amen.
Saturday, 25 August 2018
It's probably time to see where we're at with hospitals, treatment, recovery etc.
I spent most of a day at the hospital earlier in the week. The results were encouraging, but also challenging. First up was an MRI. The results were good with both specialists extremely pleased.
The not-so-good was when I reported that I had a mild rash. The. origin of the rash is critical. If it has been generated solely by me, that is, by the normal function of my body, then it is non-threatening. But if it stems from the treatment, it could be quite seriousg.
Consequently, treatment has been suspended, yet again, further medication has been prescribed, and I am using a cream/gel to treat the rash. It is improving - Praise the Lord. Once it is cleared up
treatment can resume.
The way can only be forward. I am convinced that God is in charge - and ALWAYS has been! And I am going along for the ride. I'm not necessarily praying for healing - though it would be nice if this were to come. Rather I am praying for God's will to be done, for it's in the centre of His will that I want to be.
That's it. Now for the meditation.
As much as
With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. Mark 4.33,34
A parable signifies a comparison or an illustration. On first examination the true significance of a parable might be deeply hidden, and understanding may come only by revelation.
Jesus used parables as a popular means of presenting His message. His listeners received as much as they could individually comprehend. This gave a wide variety of understanding between His different disciples.
Similarly today, understanding of God’s word varies considerably between different disciples. When Jesus was alone with His close disciples, He explained everything to them.
I believe that, as I press into Jesus, as I come close to Him, perhaps just me, myself – and my Teacher, then He may reveal to me some of the secrets of the word, the mysteries of our wonderful God.
I think perhaps those early disciples didn’t always grasp the meaning and significance of Your words to them. This encourages me.
I read with excitement of the revelation they received when they were alone with their Master. I pray for like insight and revelation as I come to You. As I seek to join with You, to share in a more intimate relationship, I pray for Your impartation of knowledge and understanding. And because it comes from relationship it is not academic, dry and “lifeless”. Indeed no, the very opposite. From my joining with You will come life, excitement and fulfilment, endorsed in love, grace, peace, and mercy.
Thank You, Lord. Please walk with me today. Amen.
Tuesday, 21 August 2018
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,” they replied. Matt. 22.41,42
Jesus had asked His disciples who the people said He was. They replied: John the Baptist or Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
He then asked them who they thought He was, and Peter had given that wonderful reply: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Now He is asking the Pharisees, the acknowledged religious leaders of the day. They see Him, or rather respond as seeing Him as nothing more than a descendant of David.
This was their verbal response, but what was in their hearts? Were they fearful to acknowledge Him as Son of God, afraid of what this might do to their own positions and standings?
There are many today who may acknowledge that Jesus had once been a person, but they go no further. Is it fear that holds them back? Oh, that they might, like Peter, know the wonderful truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
I pray for all those people who do not acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, their personal Saviour and the Son of God.
I pray that their eyes might be opened, their ears unblocked, their minds unclouded and their hearts softened. I pray that they might hear the Gospel, receive a divine revelation, and accept Jesus as Saviour.
I pray for those who would speak forth the gospel message. Give them boldness, and every opportunity.
I pray the power of God in revelation and conviction. I pray incredible increase into the kingdom of heaven, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Sunday, 19 August 2018
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Matt. 3.8
What powerful words these are. They are given, in the first instance, by John the Baptist as he is baptising people in the River Jordan on confession of their sins.
The words are addressed to the Pharisees and Sadducees who were spectators of his activities. These men were the prominent Jewish leaders of the time, but their leadership left much to be desired. The Pharisees were a legalistic and separatist group. They kept to the laws of Moses in the strictest way, but often with great hypocrisy. They strenuously told the people what to do, but didn’t always do it themselves. The Sadducees were worldly and politically minded. Their theology was unorthodox. Together they were poor examples for the people of God to follow. Their fruit was not good fruit. It was worldly, hypocritical, and egotistical. Love, humility and service were genuinely lacking.
The words that John the Baptist addressed to the “church leaders” of his day apply equally to God’s leaders (and followers) today. We are called to bear appropriate fruit. We are saved by the blood of Jesus and reconciled to Almighty God, our Heavenly Father in loving relationship. We are connected, in love, with righteousness. Our fruit should show the sweetness and richness of this union.
I pray for right fruit in my life. I thank You for this word. I affirm that I am a branch of the vine of Jesus, and I look for the fruit of Jesus in my life.
Loving Lord, I want to know You more, to really know You. And I want my knowing You to spill out into all of my life. Let my life abound in Godly fruit.
I love You, Lord. I praise and thank You for this wonderful day.
I proclaim Your wonder, Your glory, Your power.
Hallelujah! Praise Your name. Amen.
Friday, 17 August 2018
Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?’ ” Zech. 7.4-6
Again the word of the LORD Almighty came to me. This is what the LORD Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.” (Zech. 8.18,19)
I have a difficulty with fasting. I struggle to generate a willingness to fast. Certainly I want to seek God. I am “hungry” (what a pun!) to hear from Him. I believe the wonderful things that occurred during my visit to Tasmania some years ago were undergirded by the fast that we undertook beforehand.
So, why do I have difficulty in bringing myself to a fast? Why can’t I approach it positively and with excitement? Is it simply lethargy? Apathy? Am I waiting for some super-spiritual awakening?
I need to make a decision, then follow through, seeking God’s help and guidance as I go.
My heart cries out to draw closer to You. I yearn to hear You – clearly, deeply and consistently.
I believe fasting for You will facilitate this. I want to fast for You. I look for fasts, my fasts, to be joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for me with You.
I ask Your help in regular fasting. Please would You give me revelation and direction. I need Your help. I want to please You. Amen.
Thursday, 16 August 2018
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph. 3.17
Zephaniah has prophesied God’s coming judgment on Judah. He has written of the retribution that God will bring upon His people because of their apostate ways. Then he speaks of God’s grace to His people.
“Then will I purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them may call on the name of the Lord
and serve him shoulder to shoulder.” (3.9)
Shortly this is followed by the hope and promise of verse 17.
I thank You for Your great goodness. As I read through the twelve prophets I am reminded time and again of Your love and fruitfulness to Your people. In those times before both the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions, when Your people’s conduct was bad towards You in the extreme and Your prophets spoke words of severe punishment upon them, the promise comes through – time and again – of Your release, Your love and mercy. Hope is never lost. I thank You, great and wonderful God.
I thank You for this is also the case today. However badly an individual, a group or even a nation behave towards You, Your redemptive hand is always opened towards them, offering mercy and forgiveness, love and peace, hope and a future.
Lord God, I pray for those in my family who do not know You. I pray for their salvation. I ask You to reach down from heaven and draw them to You. Bring them to a place of acceptance of You – fully and completely as Lord and Saviour. In Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Monday, 13 August 2018
They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. Ezekiel 44.23
These are the words of the Lord to Ezekiel in regard to the responsibilities of his priests.
I see the need for this teaching today perhaps every bit as much as when it was written. The world is so far into the common as to be, often, obscene. The church, sadly, confuses the holy with the common and taints the image and message of God to all people.
As I’ve been reading and meditating today, I have felt also something of as stirring in regard to prayer – personal prayer for me, but also corporate prayer. There is such a power in the prayers that God’s people offer to Him in ardour and true faith. Just now, I feel a faint stirring, no deep revelation. However, I wonder if God has something to say to me.
I thank You for Your Word today – both that which is spoken in Your Holy Scriptures, and that which is unspoken, but rather felt, and which I have felt faintly stirring within me today.
I pray that You would lead me to teach Your people the difference between the holy and the common. Lord, prepare me. I am nothing on my own, but, with You, I can do anything.
I ask that You would open doors. I ask You to open doors to enable me to teach, in Your Holy Spirit, the difference between the holy and the common. I ask You that You would lead me to lead others into holiness. I ask that You would open doors to enable me to minister prayer – to teach on prayer – powerful, life-changing Jesus-giving prayer.
I ask this in the magnificent name of Jesus. Amen.
Saturday, 11 August 2018
“But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die.” Ezekiel. 18.21
For chapter after chapter Ezekiel relates God’s reaction – nay, His just response to the infidelity and sin of Israel – of the nation of Israel, the people of Israel and Judah. They have occasioned wickedness upon wickedness, and the righteous indignation and wrath of the Lord is upon them.
But there is hope. Amidst all the wickedness and despondency, God speaks a word of promise. If the wicked man chooses to turn away from sin, to embrace the ways of the Lord, to keep his decrees and do always what is right, then he will live. He will not be punished with death. He will be spared by the Lord.
This word is a preface to the saving grace of God demonstrated by Jesus in His sacrifice for all who would turn to Him.
How consistent God is. His plan was always to redeem His creation from the sin they got themselves into, to restore them to wonderful relationship with Himself.
I thank You for the gift of Your love. I seek more of it today. Through Ezekiel You offered salvation to the sinner of the day. In Jesus You offer exquisite release from sin, and eternal life to all who would turn to You. What wonderful expressions of love! And Your word to me in recent days is that You will swamp me with Your love.
Sweet Lord, I rejoice in who I am in You. I thank You for the confidence You give me – Your confidence. I yield myself to You at the start of this day and I look to Your leading through the day.
Take me. Dazzle me. Fill me, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Thursday, 9 August 2018
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph. 3.16-19
These words of Paul speak of blessing for me, Your blessing for me. In humility, my Father, I set aside all doubt and fear, and I take up a new confidence – a confidence in You, Your confidence in me. I receive, willingly, Your gift of confidence to me.
I ask You to strengthen me with inner power by Your Holy Spirit.
Let me know the mind of Christ. Let me share the mind of Christ. Oh, yes, may my thoughts be Jesus thoughts. May my actions be Jesus actions, and may Jesus work miracles in me and through me.
Dear Father, let me grasp and know the love of Jesus. Saturate me with Your love. Grant me the riches of Your love and blessing. Immerse me in Your love. Engage me fully in Your majesty. Lord God, I want to become totally alive in You – like never before. I want to be amazed by who You are and who You want to be for me. I pray You will pour Yourself out upon me, now and henceforth, and continue to pour, that I might live in all I can, in Jesus.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, 7 August 2018
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” Jer. 17.7,8
Jeremiah makes rather a bitter complaint against the Lord in 12.1,2. Declaring God’s righteousness, he proceeds to question His justice. He notes how the wicked prosper, the faithless live at ease. He suggests that God has planted them and they have taken root. They thrive and bear much fruit. They speak of God but their hearts are not with Him.
God answers Jeremiah’s complaint by reminding him of what the God-fearing man can expect. He will be blessed as he trusts and places his confidence in the LORD, Jehovah God, the great I AM. The same Hebrew root underlies both the words ‘trust’ and ‘confidence’.
God compares this man to a tree planted (or transplanted) by water. The tree sends its roots out to the stream. This word ‘stream’ comes from a Hebrew root illustrating the source of a righteous man’s strength. This man does not fear the elements, for nothing can deny his ‘life’ and his fruitfulness.
I rejoice in this word. I trust in You. My confidence sits in You and remains in You. My greatest desire is to be planted by You to receive and give out the living water that comes from the throne room of heaven.
I pray that I will know no fear in intense heat, (or cold), nor in drought or flood. I look to You in confidence that my ‘leaves’ will be ever green and I will never fail to bear fruit.
I thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Sunday, 5 August 2018
For I am the LORD your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar – the Lord Almighty is his name.
I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand. Isaiah 51.15,16a
This is the Almighty God. He has control over everything. As I read the words churns up the sea I am mindful of the picture I saw yesterday as I left home and travelled down the coast.
The sea at Newport was churning. It was spectacular, tumultuous. The breakers were giving off foam metres out from the shore. It was exhilarating. And the scene was repeated. At Collaroy, Long Reef, Dee Why and Curl Curl, the sea was giving constant evidence to this violent, majestic action that was rising it up.
This is the same powerful, yea supreme force that is at work in me. He is my guardian and my guide, my source, my being, my everything. He puts the words into my mouth – His words. He covers me with the shadow of His hand, ensuring my full protection and provision. He is my Lord and my God. In Him I will trust.
Thank You. Thank You for this day. Thank You for this time. Thank You for this life.
I place myself in Your hands. I ask that You would put Your words into my mouth. I pray that You will cover me, and keep me covered, with the shadow of Your hand. I look to You, today and every day, for the pouring out of Your Holy Spirit into my life, for Your leading in all that I do.
I love You. My desire is for You to fill my life with Your presence for Your will to be done in all of me.
I trust You. I surrender, and ask You to come, take me, fill me, use me, enjoy me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thursday, 2 August 2018
After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. Matt. 11.1
Jesus was teaching His disciples, but the instruction came to a close. I don’t think this was the only teaching He was to give them, for He had so much to share with them and instruct them in.
However, this particular teaching came to a close, and Jesus left the place where they were to go off to the towns of Galilee where He taught and preached.
But what happened to the disciples? In the preceding chapter, Matthew records that Jesus sent the twelve out with instructions and authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness (Matt. 10.1)
And so, we see how Jesus instructed the disciples, and then sent them out to minister. As they did this, He went off to further ministry of His own. The instruction of the disciples was halted at this time. They went off to execute His instructions, while He partook of further ministry.
So it can be for me! Jesus may instruct me. Indeed, I look to Him for His instruction, and I expect to receive it. After having been instructed, I need to be willing to go where Jesus sends me or leads me. There may be more instruction in later days, but if I sense that Jesus is releasing me into a certain time of ministry, then I need to be obedient and go. If I decide the time is not right and further decide to stay, then I am being disobedient to the will of God.
Also, if I remain and give myself to seeking more instruction, not only am I disobeying the Father’s will, I could be in the way of Jesus ministering to others. I would be upsetting God’s balance and getting in the way of His will.
I need to be obedient. This may require alertness of me. Let me commit to working in concert with Him.
I thank You for the insight I believe You have given me today. I pray to be ever alert to Your call, and to willingly give myself to whatever You ask of me, whether it is sitting quietly at Your feet, or responding to Your call to “go forth” in the name of Jesus. Let me hear and discern what Your Word says, and willingly obey. Amen.