Thursday, 21 March 2019
“You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast because for me the right time has not yet come.” John 7.8
Here is a further reminder that Jesus moved in accordance with the will of God. This was the way of His life, and John especially makes several references to timing (2.4; 8.30; 7.6, 30)
Jesus was so in touch with the Father and, through His faith in the Father’s will and purpose for His life, He was able to act accordingly.
He did not leave for the Feast with His brothers yet, when the Feast was half-way through, He arrived at the temple courts and began to teach (v14). At this time the crowds in the temple would be at a maximum, and the teaching would reach many. Was this the Father’s will? Did the Son know this? We’re not told. Yet it does not seem an unreasonable assumption.
I am interested to learn that Jesus felt the time was not right to leave for the Feast at the start, yet He was moved to go when the Feast was halfway through. This seems like a most accurate interpretation and compliance with the will of the Father.
Will I ever know Your will with such certainty and accuracy? I cannot say with any degree of assurance! Yet I can offer myself to You today with the prayer that You will lead me and guide me. I release myself into Your holy and perfect will. My desire is to fulfil Your plan for me today.
I look forward to the day that stretches before me. Many things are already anticipated for today. I place each and every arrangement before You and pray that each one will unfold as Your will causes it.
It is so exciting living with You. I rejoice that You are with me. I’m here for You. Take me and lead me, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
“I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” John 5.25
Once again I note Jesus begin a statement with the declaration: “I tell you the truth.” It impacts me every time I read this. Here is a man of truth. He is always truthful, never untruthful. What an amazing example for all who would follow Him!
This time Jesus is talking, in truth, of life for those who are dead. This might well refer to the future resurrection of the physically dead, but it also impacts upon those who are presently alive physically but spiritually dead to life in Jesus and relationship with God.
Jesus is saying that the time is now for these people to hear the voice of Jesus, and to respond. I know how much I would want people who are dear to me to respond to this. Then there are so many more that I don’t know who are also in need of the Saviour.
The work is truly enormous. Yet, nothing is impossible for my God.
Lord God, Blessed Lord Jesus,
Your Word declares that the “dead” shall hear the voice of the Son of God and receive the life that He offers. I thank You for the assurance of this word.
I pray for the many people that I know, and the countless millions that I don’t know, who do not yet walk with You. My family, friends and neighbours are so precious to me and I do so want to see them enjoy the life that is in You. I ask You to touch them. Show Yourself to them, my precious Saviour, in such a way that they will see the truth and embrace it in all its fullness.
I love my family and desire each one of them to walk with You. Oh, that they might know and enjoy a relationship with You that will fulfil and complete. Hear my prayer, Lord. Save my family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances – and beyond, in Your precious name I ask Amen.
To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.” John 3.27
John the Baptist spoke these words as an argument took place among some of his disciples over ceremonial washing and the baptisms that Jesus was conducting in the face of John’s baptisms.
John was neither envious nor resentful. He knew what he had been called to do. He also knew that Jesus had been specifically called, and for a higher, greater purpose. This did not faze him. He, like Jesus, had received what heaven had intended for him. He was content to fulfil those things expected of him, and not envy or covet the greater calling of Jesus.
It is so for all of us. Giftings and enablings are heaven sent. I believe my duty is to receive what had been given to me from heaven, and to diligently express and fulfil all that heaven requires of me. Herein is my peace and satisfaction.
I feel as a chosen one. I know I have been chosen by You. I have been chosen to enter into relationship with You. I thank You for this.
I receive all that heaven gives me. I ask for wisdom and discernment to fully utilise all that is heaven sent, and to please You in what I do. I, like John, seek not to envy others but, rather, to keep myself focused on You and to aim for the out working of your purposes in my life.
Let me not be side-tracked with foolish ambitions of the flesh. I seek heaven – the Kingdom of God – first. I look for the righteousness of God and my desire is to partake of His kingdom and His righteousness to the full measure apportioned to me.
Holy One, I come to You. Receive me and fill me. Walk with me and lead me through this day to Your praise and glory. In Jesus name I ask. Amen.
But now, this is what the LORD says –
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isa. 43.1
What God says of His ancient people applies also to me. He created me, He formed me. I am the creation and child of Almighty God.
He tells me not to fear. There is nothing that I should be afraid of. He is above all things, and I am His creation, His treasured possession, His dearly loved son.
He has redeemed me. He has bought me back from sin, rescued me from the wiles and the grip of Satan.
He has also, like He did with Israel, “summoned me by name”. He has called me, personally and individually, to fulfil the purpose that He has ordained for me.
His purpose does not need to be fully detailed before me in order for me to comply. His Word informs me clearly that He rates obedience higher than sacrifice (1 Sam. 15.22). I come in obedience. I do not need to see the outworking of His plan in advance. It is sufficient for me to know that I am giving myself to Him for whatever pleases Him.
I come to You, in humility and obedience. In love I present myself before You. My greatest desire is to abide in You. I sit at Your feet in adoration, wonder and worship.
Have Your way in me, with me, and through me. I am Yours. I delight in every aspect of Your Holy Being. Take me through this day. I am as soft as clay in Your hand, willing to be moulded to the shape You would have me be.
You are wonderful, holy God. Amen.
Wednesday, 20 March 2019
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
he gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries then close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. Isa. 40.11
In the Ancient Middle East the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep was unique, and most powerful.
The shepherd would give each sheep in his flock a name, and he would call them by name. The young, the small, and the helpless would be carried up by the shepherd into his arms and held by him, safe and secure, close to his heart. This is the picture that I want to carry with me into today.
My wonderful Lord and Saviour knows me by name. He gently calls me. I come; I am His. He lifts me up. I am secure in His gentle but strong arms. I am held close to his heart. I feel the beat of His heart. I want His heart to infect me. I pray He will impart to me the same beat, that my heart might reflect something of what is in His heart.
My Holy God, and Precious Saviour,
I have such a love for You and I pray that You would know this. My first desire is to be held by You, close to Your heart. I yearn to join with You in intimate relationship, to enjoy You and to know that You enjoy me.
I pray that You would share the beat of Your heart with me. As I grow in a deepening relationship with You, I yearn to feel Your love for others and to lead them into a love relationship with You.
Lord, I truly desire this but my first, and perhaps selfish, desire is to know the deepest and truest love relationship with You for myself. Hear me, Lord. Draw me into that place of sweetest communion with You. Enjoy me, please, as You love me, and lead me to enjoy You.
Hallelujah! Praise Your name. Amen.
Note: I may make several postings in the next few days, as I shall be away next week. I hope you will enjoy these and be ministered to as they have ministered to me.
Monday, 18 March 2019
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution he will come to save you." Isa. 35.3,4
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. And His word is as true, powerful and faithful now as it ever was.
God’s Word is clear for all generations: “Do not fear!”
Through all time, through all tribulation, God is there for those who will turn to Him. For those who will trust in Him, He will come through. His Word is “Do not fear.”
In being strong and not fearing, the people of God will meet with their Maker. He will come and, with vengeance and retribution, He will save.
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. The lame will leap like a deer, and the mute tongue will shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the desert, streaming through the burning land (v6). And life will be renewed in abundance.
Our Lord God is great. He is faithful. His only motivation is love. O, praise God!
I thank You that You are strength to the weak. You are salvation from all that is ill. You heal and restore. You refresh, renew and prosper.
I pray for this needy world. I pray for those who are looking for help yet cannot, or will not, look to You. Lord, open their eyes, unstop their ears and take the doubt from their minds. Let them see You, let them hear and respond to the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. Let them leap for joy shouting praise and acclamation to a wonderful God.
This is my prayer for the world. Hear me, hearken and respond, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Friday, 15 March 2019
Each man will be like a shelter form the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land. Isa. 32.2
This verse refers to the Lord’s redeemed. Those who come to God in full surrender will know the power of God, sensing it in them and seeing it work through them.
Reflecting the Lord Himself, the redeemed will provide sources of protection and blessing.
The examples given – shelter from the wind, refuge from the storm, streams in the desert, and a great rock shading a thirsty land – are so apt for the people this word was originally addressed to.
I have experienced Israel in the middle of a hot and dusty summer. When the blazing wind blows, shelter is the sweetest relief. I can imagine the fury of a storm on the Sea of Galilee. In the open country, the foothills of Judea and the wilderness of the Negev, I know just how welcome streams of water would be or the inviting shelter of a great rock in the blistering heat.
All of these bring the most exquisite relief to the needy. Such are the Lord’s redeemed to the lost and the hurting. What a wonderful thing it is to come into relationship with Almighty God, to be prepared by Him, and then to be used in protection and blessing to the needy.
I thank You for this verse. I claim it for myself. I ask You to use me in reaching out to the lost. May I be both protection and blessing to them.
Show me those who need shelter from the wind, refuge from the storm, or drink or shade as they struggle and thirst. Use me to show them Your love. Empower me to touch them, to bless them and to lead them to You.
I receive Your affirmation that I will be a source of protection and blessing to many.
I thank You. Amen.
Thursday, 14 March 2019
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Isa. 26.3,4
There are several words I feel to explore more deeply in this extract.
Firstly, the mind needs to be steadfast. The root of this word is “prop”. The mind needs to be propped by the Lord. It needs to lean upon or establish itself in the Lord.
The mind achieves this state through trust. This trust is to seek refuge, to be boldly secure, almost carelessly confident.
And with this steadfast mind fixed on the Lord through trust, He will keep me in perfect peace. I know something of the peace of Jesus. It is both comforting and strengthening. It is extreme. The comfort I receive is the ultimate comfort, and the strength He gives me is absolute. It is indeed perfect. It is complete, full, whole. It is just; it is made ready; it is especially friendly. This is the environment in which I am encouraged to trust in the Lord. Hallelujah!
Thank You for this word. I seek to embrace it in fullness today. I look for my mind to be firmly established in You. I give myself to Your Word and ask You to build me up through it.
In trust I seek refuge in You. Dear Lord, I want to be boldly secure and carelessly confident in You. I want to be free of care, for how can I worry when I am in You (Matt. 6.25)
Lord, hear my prayer in this. Strengthen me. Lead me further into this place of utter trust in You.
Let me know Your perfect peace. Let me partake of every aspect of Your perfect peace. Lead me through this day. I give myself to You to have Your way with me. Let Your will be done in all things, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvellous things,
things planned long ago. Isa. 25.1
God’s faithfulness is truly perfect. It is complete in every way. It lacks nothing. Thus in a fully complete way God has out worked wonders and marvels that He had planned maybe before the start of time itself.
It amazes me that things happen now, indeed these most recent events in my life were planned and ordained by God long ago. God, in effect said then, “I will do these things.” And He is true to His word. Likewise, all that He has spoken to me, of me, He will fulfil. The timing will be His alone. It will be a sovereign timing, truly perfect in every way.
Yes, I freely acknowledge this great and wonderful being as my God, and as my Lord. There is none other.
O great and wonderful God, loving Lord. I salute You. I exalt You and praise Your name. You are majestic and loving. You are powerful and patient. You are all-knowing and most wonderfully faithful.
Your ways are often mysterious but always right. I seek to follow Your ways at all times, in every matter.
Receive anew my commitment today. Take me forward with You. I am learning to enjoy more this adventure I have with You. I praise You for Your patience and faithfulness.
I rejoice in You. I take that joy with me as I venture forth into the day.
Come with me, Lord. Let us have a most wonderful day together.
Saturday, 9 March 2019
The Lord Almighty has sworn,
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
and as I have purposed, so it will stand.” Isa. 14.24
The present prophecy that comes from Isaiah is against Babylon and Assyria. God will use these countries to punish His people, Israel, and then He will destroy them.
But the message is for all time. What God has planned will come to be. God’s purposes will stand.
For the Lord Almighty has purposed,
and who can thwart him?
His hand is stretched out,
and who can turn it back? (v27)
God does not change. As His plans for Babylon and Assyria were fulfilled, so also will His plans for today come to pass.
I rejoice that You have a plan and purposes for my life. I surrender myself fully into Your will. Lead me forward into this day. May my own arrangements unfold, or not, as You lead.
I delight to live with You. You are the morning sun, the evening breeze and all that is between. I pray that the eyes of my heart might be opened to see and receive wonderful things from You. This might not fully unveil at first but I ask You to lead me and show me.
My heart is Yours. My mind also is Yours, but there are times when it needs to surrender the lead to my heart. I ask You to help me in these times.
Let us go forward into the day together. I release every part of today to You. I ask You to be my guide. Lead me in Your ways. Direct my steps. Speak to me please and share Yourself with me. I love You. I look forward to this day with You. Hallelujah! Amen.
Thursday, 7 March 2019
“In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” Matt. 18.14
Jesus is talking of those who move away from God. For whatever reason they leave the fold. Just as, in His example, the sheep that strays from the fold is sought out by the shepherd and returned to his rightful place, so the Christian who strays is a concern to the Father until he returns to the family of God.
Salvation belongs to God. In response to the disciples’ question of who can be saved, Jesus says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”(Matt. 19.26)
God can bring anyone to Himself. I believe He can also restore those who have moved away from Him. His concern is that no one shall perish. (2 Peter 3.9)
I thank You for this reminder from Your Word today of Your concern for the lost and for those who have strayed.
I humbly remind You of Your Word:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,
…He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish,
but everyone to come to repentance.(2 Peter 3.9)
I cry out for the lost, for those who were once in the fold but who have strayed. Lord God, hear my cry for each one of these. Receive my reminder that this is not what You want. Please draw them to You, Lord.
Open eyes, unblock ears, unlock minds and soften hearts. Send Your message of love, and move on the recipients to open themselves wide and receive the fullness of salvation.
Lord God, I join with You in not wanting anyone to perish. Rescue them, Lord. Reach out and bring them to You, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.
Tuesday, 5 March 2019
“As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Matt. 10.7
Jesus has called the twelve and given them authority. He has then sent them out. They are truly “apostles” – sent ones.
I believe it is possible for Jesus to do this same thing today. He may well have been doing it through the ages, but man hasn’t always been open to this particular divine commission. There is evidence of such ministries through the Spirit – the agent of Jesus – in more recent times.
I believe Jesus wants to heal today as much as He healed in the days when He walked the earth. The Spirit is active in this day and might just be looking for willing disciples.
I read the words that You spoke to the first apostles, and I respond.
I offer myself to You, to preach the message of the kingdom of heaven, to heal the sick, even to raise the dead, to cleanse those gripped by cruel and terrible disease, and to drive out demons. I willingly give away – freely – what I receive from You.
I offer myself, Lord. I so want to serve You. I yearn to share the love and relationship I have with You, and draw others into Your kingdom. I do not have the personal skills to do this, nor would I want to do it in my own strength.
I need Your enabling. I look for the strength and endorsement that can only come from You. I humbly ask for Your anointing.
Touch me, Lord. Draw me closer to You. Lead me forth in ministry for You. Come with me. Let us together spread the word, heal the sick, find and save the lost, and draw all to the Father. I ask this in Your powerful and precious Name. Amen.
Sunday, 3 March 2019
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me. 2 Sam. 22.17-20
The goodness and faithfulness of God is absolute. David has cried out to God:
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies. (2 Sam. 22.4)
As we call out to God, He will reach down from on high and take hold of us. He will remove us from deep waters, He will rescue us from enemies and bring us into a spacious place. He does all this because He delights in us. Praise God! I believe this delight is an expression of God’s good pleasure and favour.
I thank You for Your Word. I receive Your Word for myself as it was applicable to David. I believe You hear my cry for help and I believe You reach down from on high to rescue me.
Lord God, thank You for Your good pleasure. Thank You for the favour that I enjoy as a child of God. Thank You for the delight You have in me.
I commit to You. I want to journey with You each day, for all of my days. I look forward to that great day when I shall be with You in paradise.
O holy heavenly Father, I adore You. I want more of You and I want to share You with everyone. Please help me. Please enable me.
Thank You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Saturday, 2 March 2019
But God does not take away life; instead he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam. 14.14
This scripture is reminiscent of salvation. God does not want to deprive anyone of life. He would have them know the fullness of life in Him. The one who is estranged from Him, God would see restored and in joyful communion with Him.
Man may banish his fellow man, as indeed David did Absalom, but God’s way is not of banishment. His way is the way of reconciliation. May this be the way for me. I pray that I will never be tempted, under any circumstance, to cut off from people, to cast them away from me, but I would look to reconcile and, hopefully, in the process to bring them closer to God.
I thank You for this cameo that comes from the story of David and Absalom. Of course it reminds me of the coming of Your Son to offer each one of us pardon from our sins and a free and complete return to You.
Loving Father, I pray for my own behaviour in regard to others especially those that might reject or wound me. Help me not to “banish” or punish them. Let me see them as You see them and enable me to act towards them in a way that would be pleasing to You.
Thank You, O thank You, for the precious gift of salvation in Jesus. I ask for opportunities to share this gift. I pray that You will lead me to people and direct people to me. I ask You to give me the words to say and a willingness and boldness to speak out those words.
Precious Lord, I release myself to You this day. Have Your way in me, in Jesus’ name I ask. Amen.