Thursday, 28 February 2019
But you must return to your God;
maintain love and justice,
and wait for your God always. Hosea 12.6
These are clear and simple directions – from God! In encouraging a return, there is an assumption of a movement away from God. So when I feel as if I am far from God, the remedy is a simple return to Him. Such return is evidenced by the maintenance of love and justice by me. These may not be easy things to do and if this is so, then I will know that I am getting closer to God.
Perhaps the most difficult thing to do is to always wait for God. Yet, even as I write this, I realise also that waiting on God can be the most wonderful, “delicious” experience. And it needs to be an abiding experience. Waiting for, and on, God is a continuum, it is a lifestyle rather than a series of intermittent events.
I thank You for the examples I read of men and women who waited for You and waited on You. They developed a lifestyle that was centred on You. This also is my desire. I know I’m not there yet, but I’m happy to be in the process.
Help me to maintain love and justice in all that I do. I abhor injustice and it riles me up. I surrender this to You. I ask You to work in me a right response to injustice. As I wait on You, I believe the right responses will come for whatever I’m faced with.
I look forward to living this day with You. As the day unfolds I pray that I will see You in every aspect. I feel like a child about to go on an outing with his Dad. Thank You, Lord. Thank You that You are there and that You swept me up into Your arms to love me and lead me. I wait for You. I wait on You. I look forward to the joy we will know and share, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Wednesday, 27 February 2019
“I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Luke 21.32
Jesus is talking about the end of the age. The generation that He is referring to is perhaps the whole of the people in the last days – that time between the first coming of Christ and His return.
The things He says must happen I believe have been occurring all through the ages, and they seem to be particularly prominent in these present days. There is certainly distress in the land of Israel at this time. Much wrath is being expressed against God’s people. All the nations seem to be joining in and decrying the sovereign state of the Lord God.
Jesus says that Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. This seems to be happening, but I sense more is to come.
Am I fearful? I think perhaps I am. I wonder how strong a Christian I might discover myself to be if I were to be exposed to any measure of persecution. I know I sense injustice. I am grieved by the state of the world. Perhaps I should be more enthusiastic. Maybe the very state of the world is the clearest indication of the Lord’s immanent return.
This much I know – that Your ways are truly wonderful. I rejoice in this.
I sorrow at the state of the world and that of western society. I grieve at what the whole world seems to be doing to Israel.But I thank You for Your word. I claim it and I stand upon it. You are Lord God Almighty and Your will shall be done. Show me, Lord, how I might best pray for Israel, for the world, for society in general, and for myself. I lay all these before you in humble petition. Don’t delay, Lord. Come to us soon, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
Because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom
for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Luke 4.18,19
It’s all in Jesus The anointing is in Him. All preaching comes from Him. Freedom is found only in Him. The blind receive sight in Him, and the “short-sighted” will only see clearly in Him. Release from oppression is found nowhere else but in Him. In Him is the fullness of the Lord’s favour, and the year of the Lord is a wonderful time, for even one day with the Lord is like a thousand years. (2Peter 3.8)
I thank You. I thank You for who You are. I thank You for what You did for all mankind. I thank You for the fullness of the expression of God that is in You.
I ask You to minister Your anointing into this sick world. Please, Lord, release holy and divine preaching, that the good news may reach the poor as You would have them receive it, unadulterated and undiluted by human touch. Let the freedom that is in You be known globally in a new and universal release of Your love. Let all those who do not see, whether physically or spiritually, have their “eyes” opened to see clearly in You. Come, Lord, and release the oppressed. Make known the favour of the Lord.
I pray for the Christ in me and the hope I have in your glory. I ask, Lord Jesus, for You to manifest Your mind in me. Fill me with all the fullness of God.
I ask these things in Your precious name. Amen.
Thursday, 21 February 2019
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2.49
Jesus was twelve years old. And He knew who He was, where He should be, and what His mission was. This is most wonderful! I note that, whilst He pointed to His personal duty to His Father in heaven, He was also obedient to His earthly parents.
There is a consistency in Jesus that I admire and would seek to attain just a measure of for myself. His earthly demeanour and behaviour was always in sync with His heavenly calling. Again I say, “How wonderful!”
The Word tells me that Christ is in me. I know I cannot live on this earth the perfection that was in Jesus but, by my hope in He who is in me, I can seek to see a better me in the life I live.
I ask simply for greater contact and awareness of the Christ that is in me. I really want my worldly behaviour to totally reflect my heavenly calling. I truly believe I have been called, and set apart, by You. Forgive me, Lord, for those times when I have failed You in my thoughts, words and deeds. Forgive me, I pray, and show me the “most excellent” way.
I long for Your way. I wonder if I am blocking Your way for me. Move me, Lord, if You need to. Change anything about me that You feel to. I give myself to You.
I want to be in Your house and about Your business. I ask You to take me and use me, in Jesus name. Amen.
Monday, 18 February 2019
I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. Acts 17.23
Paul has connected with the Athenians in the very centre and exercise of their Hellenistic philosophical society. He has found a point of contact with them from which he proceeds to unfold the gospel. Beginning with their unknown god, he leads them to the real and living God and to the truth that: in him we live and move and have our being. (v28) We also read of their response: some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” (v 32)
Paul did not need assurance of the outcome before he made the approach. He was so committed to Jesus that he couldn’t help himself sharing the gospel freely.
I love You dearly and I so want to share the good news. I am often held back. I think that my perspective is perhaps a “wafty, impractical, unclear story.” Or I might decide that people are so involved in their hedonistic life style that they do not want to hear “religious talk.” For whatever reason, I feel I am not as available to communicate the message as I would like to be. I confess this to You, and I repent. I ask Your help. Please release me from my own thoughts and limitations and lead me into Your great and abundant will.
I ask that You would enable me to speak meaningfully to people about Jesus, to communicate Him in such a way that will connect with their everyday existence and circumstances and will show then a better way.
Lord Jesus, You are the way. You are the only way. Help me, please, Lord, to share this way with those I meet and especially with those who do not know You.
I want to work with You. Take my innate inability and turn it around for Your good, in Your precious name I ask. Amen.
Saturday, 16 February 2019
When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to…
During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16.7, 9-10
God’s guiding to the fulfilment of His plans and purposes is clearly seen in these verses. It would appear that God did not want Paul and his companions to tarry in the east but rather He sought to lead them to Macedonia. In this simple way the Gospel came to Europe. What wonders are both revealed and achieved when we follow the Lord God.
I read of this wonderful leading of Paul by the Lord, and I am tempted to be envious. However, I will resist and, instead, bring myself before Him in as right a manner as I am able.
I thank You for this reminder of Your wonderful leading of Paul. I choose to receive it as an affirmation that all things are in Your ultimate control, and that includes myself and the plans and purposes that You have for me.
I would not be honest if I did not bring before You that I am presently “restless” and feeling that there is no clear future in ministry that I see at this time. There, it’s out! I confess it, and I hand it over to You. You are Lord of every part of me for I give myself over to You. Your plans will be unfolded in Your time. I will try to be content with this.
Meanwhile I have plenty to do. I ask You to help me to apply myself to it with all the zeal that You would have me do. I pray that all I do will bring glory to Your name.
Thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thursday, 14 February 2019
Then Peter began to speak, “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” Acts 10.34,35
It sometimes feels to me as if I am one of God’s favourites. Sad as it may seem to me, God has no favourites. And this indeed is good news. God loves everybody and He is there for all who will receive Him. Peter had been prepared by God in a vision to answer the call to go to the Gentiles. He obeyed and the Holy Spirit was poured out upon Cornelius and his household.
God’s call to service is not exclusive. Jesus is quite clear when He says: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16.15)
The call is general, but I believe the calling is specific. God’s plans for each of His children are unique. It behoves us to be available to God for those plans and purposes that He calls us, individually, to fulfil.
I pray that I do not show favouritism and selectivity in the things that I am prepared to do for You. I say that I will do anything for You. I hope I mean this.
Right now I am restless and a little impatient because I don’t feel I know where I’m heading in You. Help me, Lord. I realise it’s not how I feel, but I do want to be useful to You.
I ask You to show me clearly what You would have me do.
You are my firm anchor and I hold fast to You. Lead me forward, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. Acts. 3.16
Peter and John have been instrumental in the healing of the crippled beggar at the temple. But they did not effect the healing. The healing came in the name of Jesus which Peter exercised in faith. Peter knew that Jesus could heal. But, more than this, he had the faith for Jesus to heal this particular man at this immediate time.
Is this faith man-generated or God-given? I believe it is bestowed by God upon the one who opens up, in belief, to God. Belief is the basis for faith, but faith requires a strong and solid foundation of belief. The father of the boy prone to fits believed in Jesus but he was also aware that his belief needed strengthening: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”( Mark 9.24) Jesus, in turn, rebuked the evil spirit in the boy and healed him. Was this Jesus’ way of helping the father to overcome his unbelief? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that Jesus will respond to all who ask in His name.
I raise Your name to the highest heaven. Nothing is impossible for You. I worship and adore You.
I also declare my firm belief in You. I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Yes, my Lord, I know that all things are possible in You. I also know that I can do anything in Christ.
I ask You to impart a faith into me that will never die nor wane but will in fact grow stronger and stronger. I believe. Lord, please give me a faith for miracles and the miracle working power of my Almighty God to draw all people to Himself. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Monday, 11 February 2019
Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way. Jer. 26.3
I find these words to be most refreshing in the context in which they occur. The Israelites have totally “lost the plot”. They have rebelled and resisted the ways of the Lord and fallen fully into their own sinful desires and ways.
Jeremiah has been raised up by God as His spokesman to this perverse generation. He valiantly proclaims all that God gives him. He is not the most popular person, being constantly threatened with punishment and death.
In the midst of the rebelliousness and anarchy of the people, God speaks forth the above statement. Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way. If it were not God speaking, we might be tempted to see it as a naïve expression. But God is not naïve. Rather, I see it as a further sign of God’s hope in mankind. He really gives us every opportunity.
For myself, I hope I am not in the predicament that the Israelites of earlier times were in. Yet I know I need to respond to this statement. I don’t want to pursue evil ways, and I do want to hear God.
I receive today these words that You spoke so long ago. I thank You for this further encouragement, for this is how I take these words.
I do not want to walk in evil ways. I want to walk always in Your way. I ask You to guide me. I want to hear and I want to obey. I ask You to help me. Sometimes I feel that I am trying so hard to listen yet I hear nothing. Help me, Lord. I will continue to read Your Word and wait on You. Help me. Let me hear You. Strengthen me to obey You, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Sunday, 10 February 2019
What man is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the LORD and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross? Jer. 9.12
God’s Word (Jas.1.5) says if anyone lacks wisdom he should ask God.
While Jesus walked and talked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus He opened the Scriptures to them. (Luke 24.32) When meeting a larger group of disciples later, He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24.45) What wonderful instruction this is, to be taught directly by the Lord.
I believe history holds the lives of those who have been taught directly by the Lord. God has taken hold of individuals and, by revelation through His Holy Spirit, has opened their minds that they might receive His understanding.
I come before You and I ask for wisdom as Your Word encourages me to do. I pray that You would instruct me. Lord, I’m open to Your teaching. Show me please.
I pray that You would open my mind to the Scriptures and let me see the fullest understanding possible. I am so wanting to know You.
I know there are things that I might never explain in this life, and that is alright. But there are many things I seek a deeper understanding of, and I believe this is possible in You.
I come. Lord, I offer myself and I ask You to teach me and to instruct me and then use me according to Your will and purposes.
I rejoice this day in You. I lay the day before You and ask You to join me and lead me through.
And I ask all these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thursday, 7 February 2019
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6.16
Right now I don’t feel as if I’m at a crossroads but I’m certainly seeking God’s ways. I know that my way is in Him and only in Him. And this is the only way I wish to take.
I stand before You and I look. In my mind’s eye I see an open vista. I see a bright and sunny day and a clear road stretching ahead in open country. Yes, everything is open and clear. It reminds me that all things are possible in You.
In this broad vista I look for Your way. My desire, my dear Father, is to seek Your way and to walk only in that way.
I thank You for the promise of rest for my soul. In rest I know I will find peace and, in peace, power – power to do Your will, power to be an effective channel for Your love.
Lord God, please show me the ancient paths. Please direct me to the good way and strengthen me to walk in it.
Let me know the true rest that I will find only in You. I pray that I might remain in that rest, that I might find the peace and the power that I anticipate, and that I might proceed – in peace and power – to do Your will and to minister in all that You would have me do.
Show me, Lord. Your word says “ask”. I ask, Lord, in expectation of Your full and perfect answer,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Tuesday, 5 February 2019
…then say to them. “It is because your fathers forsook me,” declares the Lord, “and followed other gods and served and worshipped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law." Jer. 16.11
God has said He will bring disaster upon the Israelites. He will end their joy and gladness. And the reason is their sin and the sin of their fathers.
I have no idea of any details of sin concerning my forebears. I do not know if they were Godly and God fearing, or ungodly and pagan in all their living and practices. Fortunately, I don’t need to know. God knows and if I come before Him in penitence on their behalf, and lay their sins before Him, asking His forgiveness of them, I believe my loving God will hear my cry and confession and will bring pardon in the grace of His name.
I stand before You today at the end of a continuous line of all my ancestors. I do not know which of them walked with You and pleased You, nor do I know which of them ignored You and lived in evil and corrupt ways.
This I do know, none of them was without sin. They were all sinners, some more sinful than others. I lift each and every one of them to You and I bring myself before You in the humility of confession. I acknowledge, confess and repent of the sins of all my ancestors. These unknown people and any sinful practices I bring before You – each one of them – and I ask Your forgiveness.
O great God, please forgive every one of my family and their forebears for the sins we have all committed. Please release us into the forgiving nature of Your love. Please lead us in love into the fulfilment of a God-ordained and God-blessed life. Please restore us to rightful relationship with You, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Sunday, 3 February 2019
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4.4-7
The letter to the Philippians shows further clear evidence of Paul’s faith in reality. His salvation is real. His place in Jesus is secure. He is already there and whatever he might experience on earth will not unsettle him or destroy his present realisation of his heavenly heritage. He lives in his confidence in Jesus. This does not mean that he lives without trial or difficulty. Surely Paul experienced more strife than I am ever likely to know. But his faith and his position in Christ took him beyond his present circumstances. He is already living with, and in the assurance of, his heavenly destiny.
I have the same faith as Paul in that I too, earnestly and seriously, embrace Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Do I have the same magnitude of faith that Paul demonstrates? Do I rejoice in God always, in all things? Am I never anxious but always offering up my needs to Him with thanksgiving? And is that indescribable peace always guarding my heart and mind in Christ Jesus? Or do I sometimes panic, leave God out of my concerns and know restlessness and agitation? The answer is in Him, but perhaps the action is in me!
I’m not sure if these thoughts are leading me to doubt the reality of my faith in You. I don’t think so. I do know You. I receive You willingly as my Lord and Saviour. But I want to know You more. I am becoming more aware of the degree to which Paul knew You and I seek to know You likewise.
You promise if I ask, I will receive. Precious Saviour I ask for more. I ask for more knowledge, understanding, connection and relationship with You. I ask for more substance and evidence of You in me. I ask for opportunities to share this, that it is not a selfish situation within me, but a life-giving ministry to others.
I ask. Please hear my prayer, and answer it, in Your most precious, holy and loving name. Amen.