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Showing posts from February, 2015

Help us, Lord, to keep on looking ahead to ‘the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’.

Proverbs 23:1-18
‘Continue in the fear of the Lord all day long. Let reverence for the Lord be the concern of your life’. When, Lord, we put You first in our lives, You give Your great promise of blessing, ‘There is surely a future hope for you. You have a bright future. Surely you have a wonderful future ahead of you’ (Proverbs 23:17-18). What a glorious future lies ahead of those who love You: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9)! Keep us, Lord, from becoming ‘short-sighted’. Help us to keep on looking ahead to ‘the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’. You, Lord, have given us ‘His very great and precious promises’. Help us to press on in ‘faith’, becoming more and more ‘active and effective in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (2 Peter 1:3-11).

Help us, Lord, as we read Your Word, to pray that the Holy Spirit will give us understanding.

Proverbs 23:19-35
‘Keep your heart on the right path’ (Proverbs 23:19). Lord, we read these words, and we wonder, ‘How are we to do this?’ Help us to seek ‘truth, wisdom, instruction and understanding’ (Proverbs 23:23). Help us to give our hearts to Christ. He is ‘the Truth’ (John 14:6). Help us to open our hearts to Christ. He is ‘our Wisdom’ (1 Corinthians 1:30). Opening our hearts will mean opening our Bibles. Giving our hearts to Christ will mean giving time to reading Your Word. As we read ‘the Scriptures’, we will receive ‘instruction’. We will learn about ‘salvation through faith in Christ Jesus’. We will receive ‘instruction for right living’ (2 Timothy 3:14-17). Help us, Lord, as we read Your Word, to pray that the Holy Spirit will give us ‘understanding’ (1 Corinthians 2:9-13). May we ‘be filled with the Spirit’ and may ‘the Word of Christ dwell in us richly’ (Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:16).

Don't say, ‘I’ll read God’s Word tomorrow.’ Read His Word today.

Proverbs 22:1-29
‘So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you’ (Proverbs 22:19). Lord, there are many people who say, ‘It’s not for me’. They know that others have been greatly blessed through reading God’s Word. Still, they do not take the trouble to read Your Word for themselves. They can’t be bothered. Receiving God’s blessing doesn’t really matter that much to them. Help us, Lord, not to miss out on Your blessing. Your Word is for every one of us. It’s not just for somebody else. To each one of us, You say, ‘It’s for you – ‘even you’. Some people say, ‘I’ll read God’s Word tomorrow’. When ‘tomorrow’ comes around, they’re still saying the same thing – ‘I’ll read God’s Word tomorrow’! Sadly, their ‘tomorrow’ never comes. They never get round to reading God’s Word. They’re missing out on so much. Help us not to say, ‘I’ll leave it till tomorrow’. Help us to read Your Word ‘today’.

You, Lord, ‘give victory’ to us. Help us to receive Your victory by ‘faith.’

Proverbs 21:1-31 ‘The victory belongs to the Lord’ (Proverbs 21:31). Lord, when defeat seems inevitable, You come to us with Your Word of encouragement: ‘The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save, a Warrior who gives victory. He will take great delight in you. He will renew you in His love. He will rejoice over you with singing’ (Zephaniah 3:17). Your Word shows us the way of victory. You lead us into the way of faith in our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: ‘This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:4). You, Lord, ‘give victory’ to us. Help us to receive Your victory by ‘faith’. Living for Christ is never easy – ‘In this world you will have trouble’. Help us not to let this get us down. Help us to remember Jesus’ words: ‘Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33).

Help us, Lord, to turn from ‘the works of the flesh’ and seek ‘the fruit of the Spirit.’

Proverbs 20:1-30
‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; whoever is led astray by it is not wise’ (Proverbs 20:1). Lord, teach us the truth of these words – before it’s too late! Teach us that there is a better way than the way of drunkenness. It is the way of being filled with the Holy Spirit: ‘Don’t get drunk on wine, which leads to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18). Help us not to ‘live according to the flesh.’ You’re calling us to ‘live according to the Spirit.’ You warn us against making the wrong choice: ‘To set the mind on the flesh is death.’ You show us the way of blessing: ‘To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.’ You say to us, ‘Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.’ Help us, Lord, to turn from ‘the works of the flesh’ and seek ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ (Romans 8:5-6; Colossians 3:2; Galatians 5:19-23).

The Friendship Of The Lord, The Fear Of The Lord

Proverbs 19:1-29
‘The fear of the Lord leads to life’ (Proverbs 19:23). ‘The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him’ (Psalm 25:14). Lord, we read these words, and we think, ‘What a strange combination – friendship and fear!’ We ask, ‘How can there be friendship where there is fear?’ Here, we have a special kind of friendship – ‘the friendship of the Lord’ – and a special kind of fear – ‘the fear of the Lord’. Why is this friendship and fear so special? It’s because You, Lord, are special! You are the God of perfect holiness – ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.’ Help us to come before You in ‘the fear of the Lord’ – ‘Woe is me! I am undone; I am a man of unclean lips…’. You are the God of perfect love. You He call us into friendship with Yourself – ‘Your guilt is taken away and your sin forgiven’ (Isaiah 6:3,5,7). We rejoice in ‘the friendship of the Lord’. Help us to respect You with ‘the fear of the Lord’.

Help us, Lord, to invite Jesus, Your Son, to be our Saviour and our Friend.

Proverbs 18:1-24
Lord, we thank You that ‘the fountain of wisdom is an overflowing stream’ (Proverbs 18:4). We read the joyful testimony of Paul: ‘The grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus’ (1 Timothy 1:14), and we say, in our hearts,  ‘This is the “wisdom” we must seek – the wisdom which receives “salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). True wisdom finds its overflowing joy in the Saviour: ‘The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe’ (Proverbs 18:10). We rejoice in Jesus. He is Your Son – ‘You shall call His Name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High’ (Luke 1:31-32). He is our Saviour – ‘You shall call His Name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21). He is ‘the Friend who sticks closer than a brother’ (Proverbs 18:24). Help us, Lord, to be wise. Help us to invite Jesus, Your Son, to be our Saviour and our Frien…

Jesus Is Our Forever Friend.

Proverbs 17:13-28
“A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17). Help us, Lord, to look beyond human love and human friendship. Help us to see Jesus. His love is the greatest love. He is our greatest Friend. Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. Thank You for His love. He’s our Forever Friend. May we know, in our hearts, that His love is ‘always and forever’ love.

Help us, Lord, to throw away our bad fruit and enjoy Your good fruit.

Proverbs 14:1-19
“A perverse man will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man with the fruit of his deeds” (Psalm 14:14). Lord, You speak to us about two kinds of fruit – good fruit and bad fruit. How are we to have good fruit in our lives? Help us, Lord, to throw away our bad fruit – “strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness … ” – and enjoy Your good fruit. We need Your Word (Psalm 1:1-3). We need Your Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). – “love, joy, peace … ” (Galatians 5:19-24).

Help us, Lord, to see the light at the end of the tunnel – “the salvation of our souls.”

Proverbs 13:1-11
“The light of the righteous rejoices” (Proverbs 13:9). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Light. He’s “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). In Him, we rejoice (Romans 5:11 – “the blood Of Jesus, Your Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We thank You that, through Jesus, You have “called us out of darkness into Your marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). When, Lord, we’re going through hard times, help us to see the light at the end of the tunnel – “the salvation of our souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9).

Help us, Lord, to live a Godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled life – a life of love.

Proverbs 17:1-12 What kind of people are we to be? What kind of life are we to live? Lord, You’re calling us to live a life of “love” (Proverbs 17:9). How, Lord, do we learn what love is? – We learn from You. You show us what love is – “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son … ” (John 3:16). In Jesus, we see perfect love – “The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The Holy Spirit fills our lives with Your love – “The fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22). Help us, Lord, to live a Godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled life – a life of love.

Help us, Lord, to choose Your way, the way that leads to eternal life

Proverbs 16:18-33
Help us, Lord, to think about the way we’re living. Is it a self-centred life? – “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25). Is it a God-centred life? – “He who gives heed to the Word will prosper, and happy is he who trusts in the Lord” (Proverbs 16:20). Help us, Lord, to turn from the world’s way of living – “the wages of sin is death.” Help us to choose Your way, the way that leads to eternal life – “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

We thank You, Lord, that Jesus teaches us the way to live wisely.

Proverbs 15:1-33
“The path of life leads upward for the wise” (Proverbs 15:24). Where, Lord, does wisdom come from? It comes from Jesus. We look to Him, and we are led in the way that leads to the “Father’s House” (John 14:2-3,6). “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it” (Proverbs 15:17). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus teaches us the way to live wisely: “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). “The lips of the wise spread knowledge” (Proverbs 15:7). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Help us to “confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9).

Lord, we pray for a revival – a revival of looking to You, listening to you, learning from You and living for You.

Proverbs 14:20-35
“Righteousness lifts up a nation, but sin is a disgrace in any society” (Proverbs 14:34). Lord, we wonder about the future. Can times of blessing come again to our nation? Yes! They can – but there needs to be a big change in our way of thinking and our way of living. There needs to be less “This is what we think”, and more, “What is the Lord saying to us?” There needs to be less, “Look at what I’ve done”, and more “This is what the Lord has done for us.” Lord, we pray for a revival – a revival of looking to You, listening to you, learning from You and living for You.

Teach us, Lord, to turn from the wrong way, and to turn to the right way.

Proverbs 13:12-25
What, Lord, do we do with Your Word? How do we respond to Your Word? Do we respect Your Word? Do we despise Your Word? There’s a right way and a wrong way of hearing Your Word (Proverbs 13:13). Teach us, Lord, to turn from the wrong way, and to turn to the right way (Proverbs 29:1; Psalm 19:7-14).

Lord, teach us to take care how we speak. Help us to remember that we are Your witnesses.

Proverbs 12:15-28
What harm can be done by “reckless words” (Proverbs 12:18)! Lord, teach us to take care how we speak. Help us to remember that we are Your witnesses. We have a testimony to maintain. Teach us that there is a better way than the way of “lying lips” (Proverbs 12:22). Help us, Lord, to bring “glory” to You, as we keep on confessing our faith: “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:11).

Does it make any sense to follow “worthless pursuits” when we can be “filled with all the fullness of God”?

Proverbs 12:1-14
Lord, show us the way we are to go: “The root of the righteous stands firm” (Proverbs 12:12). – and the way we are not to go: “He who follows worthless pursuits has no sense” (Proverbs 12:11). Does it make any sense to follow “worthless pursuits” when we can be “filled with all the fullness of God”? You show us the most sensible way to live “Let Christ dwell on your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17-21).

It’s better to ‘put a zip on it’ than to ‘put our foot in it.’

Proverbs 10:23-11:11 “With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbour” (Proverbs 11:9). Lord, this is straight talking – from Your holy Word. We need to hear this kind of thing. It keeps us on the right track. It keeps us from going off the rails. When, Lord, we’re tempted to speak words that will hurt other people, help us remember Your Word to us: “The tongue is a fire … With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men … this ought not to be so” (James 3:6-10). Help us, Lord, to keep quiet – or end up saying, I wish I had never said that – It’s better to ‘put a zip on it’ than to ‘put our foot in it’. When we have nothing good to say, help us to say nothing at all.

There is a wise way of living – and there is a foolish way.

Proverbs 10:1-22 There is a wise way of living – and there is a foolish way. We’re always being pulled away from the wise way. We’re always being dragged into the way of foolishness. Sometimes, Lord, we don’t need much persuasion to turn away from following You. Our hearts are already drifting away from You – before Satan comes with his subtle – yet strong – temptations. Help us, Lord, to choose the “way that leads to life” – and not the “way that leads to destruction” (Matthew 7:13-14). Help us to choose Jesus, our Saviour. Help us to know that, in Him, we have the forgiveness of sins, given to us as Your gift of grace; the power of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to live for You; and eternal life, being prepared for us in Your heavenly glory.

Lord, You come to us with bread and wine. You come to us in Jesus, our Saviour.

Proverbs 9:1-18 Lord, You come to us with bread and wine. You come to us in Jesus, our Saviour. You come to us in love. You show us how much You love us. There is no love like Your love for us. It’s the best love. It’s the greatest love. It’s love “so amazing.” It’s love “so divine.” Thank You, Lord, for Your wonderful love.

We seek, Lord, for the way of wisdom – and we find that it is also the way of happiness.

Proverbs 8:1-36 We seek, Lord, for the way of wisdom – and we find that it is also the way of happiness (Proverbs 8:32-34). The world seeks happiness in wealth. Your Word teaches us that wisdom is better than “silver, gold and jewels” (Proverbs 8:10-11). How are we to find wisdom? We find wisdom when we find Jesus. He is our Wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). He is also our Joy. When this world is getting us down, He says to us, “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Lord, show us the wrong way so that we can avoid it. Show us the right way so that we can choose it.

Proverbs 7:1-27 You teach us, Lord, “to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14). Show us the wrong way so that we can avoid it. Show us the right way so that we can choose it. Often, Lord, we know what is right but we don’t do what’s right. We need the power that comes from You. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we fail, over and over again. With the Holy Spirit, living in us, we are learning to choose the good way of living, the way that pleases You and brings glory to You.

Lord, Your Word shows us the ways we are to avoid – and it shows us the way we are to follow.

Proverbs 6:16-35 Lord, Your Word is our “lamp” and “light” (Proverbs 6:23; Psalm 119:105). Your Word shows us the ways we are to avoid – and it shows us the way we are to follow: Your way, the way of obedience and blessing. Help us, Lord, to watch how we live, to take care that we do not drift away from You, to keep on choosing Your way, the way that brings glory to You.

What is our opinion of ourselves?

Proverbs 6:1-15 What is our opinion of ourselves? Is it the same, Lord, as Your opinion of us? You see as we really are – sinners. That’s not all that You see. You see something else, something that fills us with hope for the future. You don’t write us off as hopeless cases. You see us as sinners, saved by grace. It’s Your grace that makes the difference. It’s Your grace that changes us.

The Love Of Jesus: What a wonderful love! It’s the greatest love of all.

Proverbs 5:15-23
We thank You, Lord, for the love of Jesus. There is no love like the love He has for each and every one of us. Before we ever thought of loving Him, He loved us. Before we were even born, He gave Himself, in death, for us. What a wonderful love! It’s the greatest love of all.

Lord, we are so easily entangled in the ways of the world.

Proverbs 5:1-14 Lord, we are so easily entangled in the ways of the world. We try to disentangle ourselves – but we can’t do this by ourselves. we need Your power. We need Your love. It’s Your love that changes everything. It’s Your power that makes us new. Show us Your love. Show us Your power. May Your love lift us out of our sin. May Your power lead us in the way of Your salvation.

When we feel like giving up ...

Proverbs 4:20-27 When we feel like giving up, Lord, help us to keep our eyes fixed on Your Son, Jesus. He is our Saviour. He’ll give us the strength that we need to keep on walking with You in the way of faith. He’ll give us the strength that we need to keep on living in obedience to Your Word. We are often weak. He is always strong. When we feel like we can’t go on, when all of our love has gone, help us to remember the love of Jesus: “Jesus loves me! He will stay, close beside me all the way; He will always be my Friend, and His love will never end.”

There are times, Lord, when it seems like the light has gone out ...

Proverbs 4:10-19 There are times, Lord, when it seems like the light has gone out, and we can see nothing – nothing but darkness. When this happens to us, help us to catch a glimpse of the brightest light of all – the light of Your love. This is the light which will never go out. It is not our faith that lifts us out of the darkness. It’s Your love – the love that we see in Jesus, in His dying for us, His rising for us and His returning for us.

Thank You, Lord, that You do not keep Your distance from us.

Proverbs 4:1-9 Thank You, Lord, that You do not keep Your distance from us. In Your Son, Jesus, our Saviour, You have come to us. This is more than “From a distance, God is watching us.” From a distance, You have come to us. Help us to come to You. Help us to know that you are near to us.

Lord, our faith is often put to the test.

Proverbs 3:19-35 Lord, our faith is often put to the test. Soon, we become aware that our faith is very weak. When we start to feel that our faith is so weak, help us to remember something – Our God is always strong. With You, as our God, we go from strength to strength. It’s not our own strength. It’s Your strength.

Lord, we want everything to go smoothly – but that’s not what You’ve promised us!

Proverbs 3:1-18

Lord, we want everything to go smoothly – but that’s not what You’ve promised us! Your way can seem like a long and winding road – but it’s better to be facing problems, as we walk with You on the pathway of holiness, than to be having an easy time of it because we’ve stopped standing up for You.

Promises Of Love - And Words Of Warning

Proverbs 2:16-34 Lord, we love to hear Your promises of love. Sometimes, we need to hear Your words of warning. In Your warnings, we hear the voice of Your love. In Your love, You’re calling us back from a way that will do us great harm. You call us into a better way – the way of Your great salvation. Lord, when we are being pulled away from You, bring us back to Yourself. Speak to us with Your Word of warning, the Word that calls us back so that we can move forward with You and for You. When we don’t want to hear it – That’s when we most need to hear it. Speak to us, O Lord, and help us to listen. “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).

Lord, help us to grow in Christ.

Proverbs 2:1-15 Lord, help us to grow in Christ. Help us to go often to Your Word. There, we will find strong warnings and precious promises. Help us to heed the warnings and trust the promises - to grow in Christ.

Lord, help us to take our stand against Satan. Help us to stand in Your strength.

Proverbs 1:8-19 Lord, when Satan comes, we are very weak. We need a strength which is not our own. We need Your strength. Your strength – this is the strength against which Satan cannot stand. Lord, help us to take our stand against Satan. Help us to stand in Your strength.

Lord, help us to be doers of Your Word.

Proverbs 1:1-7
Lord, help us to be doers of Your Word. Hearing Your Word is easier than doing Your Word. We hear what You’re saying to us – but do we do what You’re telling us to do? This is the great question we must always ask ourselves. It’s the great question that You’re always putting to us. It’s a question that calls for an answer – ‘Not my will but Yours be done’ (Matthew 26:39).

Praise the Lord.

Psalms 148:1-150:6 ‘Praise the Lord.’ We bring to You, Lord, our personal song of praise to God - ‘Praise be to the Lord my Rock... I will sing a new song to You, O God... I will exalt You, my God the King; I will praise Your Name for ever and ever; Every day I will praise You... My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord... I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live’ (Psalms 144:1,9; 145:1-2,21; 146:2). Our personal worship is just a small part of something so much richer and fuller - ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord’ (Psalm 150:6). As we read these great Psalms of praise, may we be inspired to praise You more truly and more fully.

A Lifelong Commitment

Psalm 146:1-10 ‘I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live’ (Psalm 145:2). Praising You, the Lord our God: This is a lifelong commitment. We cannot maintain this lifelong commitment in our own strength. We need Your help. Help us never to forget this: ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain’ (Psalm 127:1). We thank You, Lord, that we are not expected to maintain this lifelong commitment in our own strength. We have Your help. May we always remember this: ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth’ (Psalm 124:8). ‘Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, the Lord who remains faithful for ever’ (Psalm 145:5-6).

Great God, Great Love, Great Faithfulness

Psalm 145:1-21 ‘Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. His greatness is beyond understanding’. We worship You, Lord - our great God: ‘I will exalt You, my God the King. I will praise Your Name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise You and extol Your Name for ever and ever’ (Psalm 145:1-3). You, Lord, are the God whom we worship. You are so much greater than the worship we bring to You. Our worship is to be a ‘joyful celebration’. We celebrate Your great love: ‘The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love’. We rejoice in Your great faithfulness: ‘The Lord is faithful to all His promises’. Here on earth, we have only begun to worship You, our great God. Our worship will continue in Your ‘everlasting Kingdom’. There, we will ‘praise Your Name for ever and ever’ (Psalm 145:7-8,13,21).

The Lord Is Our Rock.

Psalm 144:1-15 ‘Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle’(Psalm 144:1). Lord, You are ‘the One who gives victory’ to Your people (Psalm 144:10). What a great God You are! You are ‘our loving God, our Fortress, our Stronghold, our Deliverer, our Shield’ (Psalm 144:2). What great blessing You send into our lives! You fight for us (Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 1:30; 3: 22; Nehemiah 4:20). You are ‘our Strength’ (Psalm 28:7-8; Psalm 59:17). ‘With God we shall gain the victory’ (Psalm 60:12). We pray You will pour out Your blessing upon us: ‘Part Your heavens, O Lord, and come down... Reach down Your hand from on high...’ (Psalm 144:5,7). Lord, we think of how much You have blessed us. Help us to sing our song of praise to You: ‘I will sing a new song to You, O God’ (Psalm 144:9).

The Teaching Of God's Word, The Strength Of His Spirit

Psalm 143:1-12 ‘Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord’ (Psalm 143:9). When we pray this kind of prayer, may we be concerned about more than our own welfare. May we be concerned about Your glory: ‘For Your Name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life’ (Psalm 143:11). How, Lord, do You lead us in victory? How are You glorified in our lives? You bring to us the teaching of His Word - ‘Let the morning bring me Word of Your unfailing love’ (Psalm 143:8). You give to us the strength of Your Spirit - ‘May Your good Spirit lead me in good paths’ (Psalm 143:10). Through Your Word and Your Spirit, You show us Your ‘unfailing love’. You enable us to say, ‘You are my God’, ‘I have put my trust in You’ and ‘I am Your servant’. You ‘show us the way we should go’. You ‘teach us to do Yours will’. You give us victory over our ‘enemies’ (Psalm 143:8,10,12). Thank You, Lord.

Praise the Lord - He is good. He is great.

Psalm 135:1-21 ‘Praise the Lord’ (Psalm 1-3,19-21). ‘The Lord is good... The Lord is great’ (Psalm 135:3,5). In our worship, Lord, we focus on both Your greatness and Your goodness. You are great in power: ‘Great is our Lord and mighty in power’ (Psalm 147:5). You are also great in love: ‘How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!’ (1 John 3:1). When we praise You, Lord, may we sing of Your greatness and Your goodness. May we think of the greatness of Your power - ‘I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed’ - and the greatness of His love - ‘And when I think that God His Son not sparing, sent Him to die - I scarce can take it in, that on the Cross my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin’ (Mission Praise, 506).

Lord, You send Your blessing when Your people gather together for worship.

Psalms 133:1-134:3 Lord, You send ‘Your blessing’ when Your people gather together for worship: ‘How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!’ (Psalm 133:1,3). Many people like to think of themselves as ‘believers’, yet they show no interest in worshipping together with Your people. What does Your Word say about this? - ‘Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another...’ (Hebrews 10:25). ‘Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the House of the Lord’ (Psalm 133:1; Psalm134:1). Lord, there are some people never miss a Sunday morning service - but they always miss the Sunday evening services! They are missing out on so much of Your blessing. Lord, help us to seek Your blessing on Sunday evenings as well as Sunday mornings (Psalm 134:2)!

Lord, when the service of worship comes to an end, may our service of living begin - and never end!

Psalm 132:1-18 ‘Let us go to the Lord’s House; let us worship before His throne’ (Psalm 132:7). Lord, You're calling us to worship You. We are to gather together as Your worshipping people. As we gather for worship, may we remember that You, Lord, are ‘King’. May we give You more than the praise of our lips. May we give You the praise of our lives. We do not only sing to You. We live for You. We come ‘before Your throne’ with this prayer, ‘Take my heart - it is Thine own; It shall be Thy royal throne’. You hear and answer our prayer. You give us Your strength. We rise to Your challenge: ‘Rise up, O Church of God! Have done with lesser things; Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings.’ Lord, when the service of worship comes to an end, may our service of living begin - and never end!

Help us, Lord, to keep on praying that our love for You will grow.

Psalms 128:1-129:8 ‘Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways’ (Psalm 128:1). If, Lord, we are to enjoy Your blessing, we must fear You and walk in Your ways. Many people despise the place of worship. They ‘pass by’. They have no desire to know ‘the blessing of the Lord’. Lord, You’re warning us that we must not allow this attitude to grow in us: ‘May all who hate Zion be put to shame’. We must take care that our love for You doesn’t ‘wither’ away. Help us to keep on praying that our love for You will ‘grow’. If we place no value on Your blessing, our lives will be empty. May we come to You, our Lord, with this prayer: ‘The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You, loving You, serving You. I want to know You more, love You more, serve You more’.  He will ‘fill’ your life with His blessing (Psalm 129:5-8; Mission Praise, 646).

Those who trust in the Lord cannot be moved.

Psalms 125:1-127:5 ‘Those who trust in the Lord… cannot be moved…’. When, Lord, we put our trust in You, we are like the ‘wise man who built his house on the rock’. His house ‘did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock’. When we don’t put our trust in You, we are like the’ foolish man who built his house on sand’. His house ‘fell with a great crash’. Help us never to forget that ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain’ (Psalm 125:1; Psalm 127:1; Matthew 7:24-27). Help us to remember that ‘Jesus Christ’ is the ‘sure Foundation’ upon which our faith is built. He is ‘the solid Rock’, our ‘mighty Rock of spiritual refreshment’ (1 Corinthians 3:11; 10:3-4). We thank You, Lord,  that ‘Christ died for our sins… He was raised on the third day’. Help us to keep on rejoicing in Him: ‘The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy’(Psalm  126:3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).����������������������������������������������������������������…

Why, Lord, do we go to Your House?

Psalms 122:1-124:8 ‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the House of the Lord”’ (Psalm 122:2). Why, Lord, do we go to Your House? We go ‘to give thanks to the Name of the Lord’ (Psalm 122:4). We seek Your mercy for our past sins: ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us!’ (Psalm 123:3). We  seek Your help for our future temptations: ‘Our help is in the Name of the Lord…’ (Psalm 124:8). We receive mercy and help from You, Lord. Help us to worship You: ‘Blessed be the Lord’ (Psalm 124:6). In our worship, we ‘look to You, the Lord our God. We draw encouragement from Your Word: ‘The Lord is on our side’ – In Him we have the victory  (Psalm 123:2; Psalm 124:1-5). Help us, Lord, to rejoice in Your blessing and to pray for others: ‘May they prosper who love You’ (Psalm 122:6).

Lord ... From Everlasting to Everlasting, You are God.

Psalms 89:38-90:17 ‘Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations… From everlasting to everlasting, You are God’(Psalm 90:1-2). Lord, we read the words, ‘In the beginning, God…’, and we know, in our hearts, that You are ‘the eternal God’. You are ‘the high and exalted One’. You are the God ‘who inhabits eternity’. You are the God ‘who lives for ever’. You have no beginning. You have no end. You are ‘the beginning and the end’. Our life on earth has a beginning. It has an end. We trust in You, ‘the eternal God.’ We rejoice in Your precious promises – ‘The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms’; ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’; ‘The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’(Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15; Revelation 21:6; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 6:23).

Whatever Happens - Don't Stop Praying.

Psalm 88:1-18 Lord, we see the Psalmist ‘down in the dumps.’ He feels like he is ‘in the depths of the Pit.” He feels like he is ‘in the darkest depths’(Psalm 88:6). This is the way he feels, but he has not stopped praying – ‘O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before You… I call to You, O Lord, every day… I cry to You for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before You’(Psalm 88:1,9,13). Lord, we read his prayer – and it doesn’t make pleasant reading: ‘My soul is full of trouble… I am like a man without strength… Your wrath lies heavily upon me… the darkness is my closest friend’(Psalm 88:3-4,7,18). How can we be helped when we feel like this? We thank You, Lord, that we can be helped by Jesus. He knows what it feels like. For us, He has entered the ‘darkness’- ‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?’. For us, He has triumphed – ‘risen from the dead’(Matthew 27:45-46; 28:5-7). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our great Saviour.

Lord, You’re calling us to love You with our whole heart.

Psalm 119:145-176 ‘With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord!’ (Psalm 119:145). Lord, You’re calling us to pray. There is nothing more important than this. If other things have become more important in our lives, we need to think about the way we are living. You want to send Your blessing into our lives: ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you’ (Matthew 7:7). Your blessing will come to those who seek him with their whole heart: ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:13). If we do not ask, we will not receive: ‘You do not have, because you do not ask’ (James 4:2). Your blessing is not given to those who are half-hearted. You’re calling us to love You with our whole heart: ‘I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and Your law is my delight’ (Psalm 119:174).

Lord, have we pushed You out to the edges of our life? Help us to walk with You in the light of Your Word.

Psalm 119:121-144 ‘The entrance of Your words gives light’ (Psalm 119:130). Lord, Your Word brings light into our lives. Sadly, many people ‘love darkness rather than light’. They  refuse to ‘come to the light’. They prefer to remain in the darkness. They refuse to listen to what You are saying to them through Your Word. Then, when things are not going so well for them, they blame You. They say, ‘It’s all Your fault’! Things could have been so different. They could have learned to spend time with You. They could have learned the lessons of faith which are found in Your Word. They could have learned to cope with life’s difficulties. They could have been filled with Your strength. They would not be complaining against You. They would be rejoicing in You. What about us, Lord? How much are we moulded by the world’s way of thinking? Have we pushed You out to the edges of our life? Lord. Lord, You have “called us out of darkness into Your marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:10). Help …

Lord, You have so much to teach us – and we have so much to learn.

Psalm 119:97-120 Lord, You have so much to teach us – and we have so much to learn. How do we learn from You? – You open up Your Word to us. You speak to us words of life. You shine Your light upon us. You show us how much You love us. Every day You have something to say to us. Every day, You have something to share with us. Every day, You show us more of Your love for us. Help us, each and every day, to take time to learn from You. Throughout life, Lord, we have to make choices. Some choices are relatively straightforward. Others are very much more difficult. Some choices don’t affect the rest of our life very much. There are, however, choices which affect the whole of our life. Help us, Lord, to make the one choice which is more important than any other – Choosing the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Those who refuse to choose are ‘double-minded’(Psalm 119:113). They can’t make up their mind. They know that they should be following Christ – but they are still ‘in love …

You keep on loving us, no matter what’s going on in our lives.

Psalm 119:73-96 Lord, we rejoice in Your ‘constant love’. This is our ‘comfort’ - You keep on loving us, no matter what’s going on in our lives. We may be going through really hard times - ‘Men persecute me with lies... They have almost succeeded in killing me’. There’s one thing that never changes - Your ‘constant love’. You love us in the hard times as well as in the happy times. Your love inspires us to keep on loving You when we feel like giving up in despair (Psalm 11976,86-88). We see many changes taking place in our world. Sometimes, we wonder, ‘Where are You, Lord, in all of this? Have You abandoned us? Can we keep on trusting You and rejoicing in Your Word?’. When our minds are full of negative thoughts, help us, Lord, to remember Your Word - ‘Your Word, O Lord, will last for ever... Your faithfulness endures through all the ages’ (Psalm 119:89-90).

Those who fear You, Lord, have no need to live in fear of man.

Psalms 111:1-112:10 'Praise the Lord... To Him belong eternal praise... Blessed is the man who fears the Lord... His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes...'(Psalm 111:1,10; Psalm 112:1,8). Those who 'fear' You, Lord, have no need to live in fear of man. Those who know that ‘eternal praise’ belongs to You, Lord, can face their enemies with confidence. Our confidence is not in ourselves. Our confidence is You. We know how good You have been to us - ‘He provided redemption for His people’. We thank You that we have heard and believed the Good News of Christ. We need not ‘fear’ any ‘bad news’ which the devil sends our way. We 'trust' in You, Lord, confident that the ‘light ‘will triumph over the ‘darkness’. We thank You that the Good News of Christ will triumph over the devil’s bad news (Psalm 111:9; Psalm 112:4,7).

Lord, our situation seems to be utterly hopeless. How can we possibly win the victory?

Psalm 108:1-13 ‘With God we shall gain the victory. He will trample down our enemies’(Psalm 108:13). In ourselves, Lord, there is only defeat. We are no match for ‘our enemies’- the world, the flesh and the devil. We are surrounded by the world - ‘The world is ever near. I see the sights that dazzle. The tempting sounds I hear’. We live with the constant problem of the flesh - ‘the storms of passion, the murmurs of self-will.’ Behind the world and the flesh, there is an even stronger enemy - the devil: ‘Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against... the spiritual forces of evil...’(Ephesians 6:12). Lord, our situation seems to be utterly hopeless. How can we possibly win the victory? The simple truth is: We cannot. There is, however, a deeper truth: You, Lord, are with us - and ‘with God we shall win the victory’!

Some things are worth repeating!

Psalm 107:1-43 Lord, there are some things that are worth repeating! The story of Your amazing grace is worth repeating over and over again - ‘Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress’(Psalm 107:6,13,19,28). The call to praise You is also something we need to hear again and again - ‘Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men’(Psalm 107:8,15,21,31). Help us, Lord, 'consider Your great love.' Help us to ‘give thanks to You’(Psalm 107:43,1).

When things are going badly and we feel like giving up ...

Psalm 105:23-45 ‘He brought His people out with joy’(Psalm 105:43). When things are going badly and we feel like giving up, help us, Lord, to remember Your Word: ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’(Nehemiah 8:10). You're calling us to ‘rejoice in You always’. You do not leave us on our own when our time of testing comes. You are there for us in our time of need: ‘My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus’(Philippians 4:4,19). When we are deeply conscious of our own weakness, You come to us with Your Word of strength: ‘My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness’(2 Corinthians 12:9). Through Your Word, we receive strength. Your Word brings joy to us. May we sing ‘glad songs of victory’: ‘The Lord is my Strength, my Song, my Saviour’(Psalm 118:14-15).

Are Things Really So Different?

Psalms 101:1-102:28 ‘I will sing of Your love... I will walk with integrity of heart...’(Psalm 101:1-2). Lord, we read these words, from many centuries ago, and, too quickly, we say, ‘Things are very different now.’ Are they really so different? Are worshipping You and walking with You out-of-date now? Are they to be forgotten? So many people have no time for You, Lord. They feel that they can do without You. They refuse to worship You. They do not walk with You. In our ever-changing world, You keep on speaking to us about something we must never forget: You, Lord, are ‘enthroned for ever’. Your ‘Name endures to all generations’. In all the changes of life, You, Lord, ‘remain the same’. Your ‘years go on through all generations’. Your ‘years will never end’(Psalm 102:12,24,27). Lord, we read Your Word, and we say, "These words were ‘written for a future generation’". They were written for us. Help us never to forget to ‘praise You’(Psalm 102:18)!

Holy Fear And Heartfelt Love

Psalms 98:1-100:5 ‘Exalt the Lord our God... Make a joyful noise to the Lord’(Psalm 99:5,9; Psalm 98:4,6; Psalm 100:1). Lord, You're calling us to worship You with joy. You're calling us to glorify You. You want us to enjoy You. In our worship, may we never forget Your holiness: ‘He is holy!... The Lord our God is holy!’(99:5,9). In our worship, may we rejoice in Your love: ‘His steadfast love endures for ever... He has done marvellous things!’(Psalm 100:5; Psalm 98:1). You are the God of ‘awesome purity’ - and You love us with the most perfect love of all: ‘No earthly father loves like Thee...’. Help us to worship You with holy fear and heartfelt love.

You, Lord, Are Able To Keep Us From Falling.

Psalm 94:1-23 ‘When I said, “My foot is slipping”, Your love, O Lord, supported me’(Psalm 94:18). You, Lord, are ‘able to keep us from falling’. We are ‘kept by Your power’. Help us to put our trust in You. May we be confident of this: ‘God, who began His good work in us, will carry it through to completion on the Day of Christ Jesus’. Help us to ‘press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenwards in Christ Jesus’. As we ‘press on’, may we never forget this: ‘It is God who works in us to will and to work according to His good purpose’. Help us to ‘fix our eyes on Jesus’, trusting in His promise: ‘My sheep listen to My voice… I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of My hand…’(Jude 24-25; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Philippians 1:6; 3:14; 2:13; Hebrews 12:2; John 10:27-30).

God Is Not Exalted Because He Is Exalted. We Exalt Him Because He Is Exalted.

Psalms 92:1-93:5 ‘You, O Lord, are exalted for ever… The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty…’(Psalm 92:8; Psalm 93:1-2). You, Lord, are ‘exalted’. Help us to exalt You in our worship. You are not exalted because we exalt You. We exalt You because You are exalted. You are ‘exalted far above all gods’. That is why we sing, ‘I exalt Thee, O Lord’. ‘He is exalted, the King is exalted on high’- This is the truth concerning You, Lord. ‘I will praise Him’- This is our response to Your truth. We sing, ‘Jesus, we enthrone You, we proclaim You our King’. This is our response to the eternal truth concerning our Saviour: ‘The Lord is enthroned as King for ever’. ‘From all eternity’ the Lord is ‘robed in majesty’. Help us, Lord, to respond to His majesty. Help us to ‘magnify’ You, Lord – ‘O Lord our God, how majestic is Thy Name’(Psalm 97:9; Psalm 29:10; Mission Praise, 158,217,388,507).

The Saviour Is More Important Than The Preacher.

1 Corinthians 2:6-3:23
We come to know God when ‘the Spirit’ leads us to 'Jesus Christ' (2:10-13; 3:11; John 16:14).
We must not attach too much importance to the preachers - ‘What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants ...’. When we make too much of the servant, we draw attention away from the Saviour.
There is a very important lesson here - ‘Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth’ (3:5-7).
We are not members of a ‘mutual appreciation society’ - ‘You pat my back, and I’ll pat yours’!
We must learn to point to Jesus, saying, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (John 3:30).
Let ‘Jesus take the highest honour’. Let His Name be ‘the Name high over all’. ‘’Tis all my business... to cry Behold the Lamb!’ (Mission Praise, 378,385) - Let’s say it and mean it!

Keeping Our Focus On Christ

1 Corinthians 1:1-2:5
Paul preached the Gospel, ‘not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power’ (17; 2:4). He preached 'Christ crucified' with a determination ‘to know nothing except Jesus Christ crucified’(23; 2:2). This is the message of our salvation - ‘Christ crucified... Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’ (23-24). All the glory belongs to God. We have no right to steal away any of the glory for ourselves: ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord’ (26-31). Our faith is ‘not based on human wisdom but on God’s power’ (2:5). ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’ (Mission Praise, 712). Christ is our full salvation. ‘Let us rejoice and be glad’ in Him’ (30; Psalm 118:24).

More Of Christ And Less Of Self!

1 Corinthians 5:1-6:11
‘Your boasting is not good’ - May we never become so taken up with ourselves that we forget Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us: ‘Christ, ou r Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us’, ‘you were washed... sanctified... justified in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God’ (5:6-7; 6:11).
There were problems among God’s people - ‘sexual immorality’, ‘lawsuits’ (5:1; 6:7). In all of this, Christ was being forgotten.
* There are no depths to which we cannot sink when we take our eyes off Christ.
* There are no heights to which we will not be raised as we look away from ourselves to Him. Christ is able to lift from the guttermost and ‘save to the uttermost all those who come to God through Him’ (Hebrews 7:25).
Let it be more of Christ and less of self!

Our Love For The Lord Must Be Stronger Than Any Other Love.

1 Corinthians 6:12-7:24
The Lord has placed the highest value on us: ‘you were bought with a price’ (6:20; 7:23).
Our love for Him must be stronger than any other love.
Some are under pressure, at home, from an unbelieving husband or wife. You wonder whether your Christian witness is doing any good (7:16). You feel you are getting nowhere. You feel like giving up. You feel yourself being dragged away from the Lord.
What does the Word of God say? - ‘Lead the life which the Lord has assigned’; ‘Remain with God’ (7:17,24).
A difficult situation at home is just one example of ‘the world’ trying to ‘squeeze us into its own mould’ (Romans 12:2).
The world will keep chipping away at our faith - until there’s nothing left. ‘Do not love the world or the things in the world... He who does the will of God abides for ever’ (1 John 2:17).

Let Christ's Love Flow Among Us.

1 Corinthians 12:1-31
Paul speaks about ‘gifts of the Spirit.’
They are ‘given for the common good’ (4-7). We’re not ‘to show off’: ‘Look at me. The Church can’t do without me.’
When we draw attention to ourselves rather than Christ, we are not living ‘by the Spirit of God.’
He moves us to say, with our whole heart, ‘Jesus is Lord’ (3).
We live in fellowship with one another: ‘the body does not consist of one member but of many’ (14). ‘I’m happy - as long as I’m getting my own way’: We can do without this kind of attitude!
What about ‘the common good’? Sometimes, things don’t go according to my plan. Perhaps, my plan needs revising - to take account of ‘the common good.’
When self raises its ugly head - ‘It’s my way or no way at all’ - let’s not forget the ‘still more excellent way’ (3).
It is the way of love - Christ’s love!

Trusting, Loving And Serving Christ, Our Victorious Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:46-16:24
In Christ, there is ‘victory’ - glorious, eternal, heavenly victory (54-57).
Every day, we face a battle. It is a battle for faith, love and service.
(a) We are called to trust the Lord: ‘Stand firm in your faith’ (13). We are to have faith. It is to be a growing faith, a faith which is growing stronger.
(b) We are called to love the Lord. This is to be the most important thing in our life: ‘love for the Lord’ (21). Christ’s question comes to us: ‘Do you love Me?’ (John 21:15-17). Is our love for Him growing stronger or getting weaker?
(c) We are called to serve the Lord: ‘Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord’ (58). Let’s get rid of the lazy, ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude. We shall be victorious through ‘the grace of the Lord Jesus’ (23).

Let's Live As Resurrection People!

1 Corinthians 15:1-45
Here, we learn of Christ’s resurrection: the fact - ‘Christ has been raised from the dead’ - and the meaning - ‘the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep’ (20).
* We look back to His resurrection. We ‘remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead’ (2 Timothy 2:8).
* We look forward to our own resurrection. We will be ‘raised’ - ‘imperishable… in glory… in power… a spiritual body’ (42-44).
Looking back to His resurrection and looking forward to our own resurrection, we are to live, here and now, in ‘the power of His resurrection’ (Philippians 3:10).
* We believe the fact of the resurrection.
* We live in the power of the resurrection.
* We rejoice in the hope of the resurrection.
With ‘resurrection’ faith in the ‘resurrection’ God, let us live the ‘resurrection’ life as a ‘resurrection’ people!

Times Of Trouble Can Turn Out To Be Times Of Great...

2 Corinthians 1:1-2:11
Times of trouble can turn out to be times of great blessing - ‘God… comforts us in all our affliction’(1:3-4). Whether good things or bad things are happening to you, don’t forget this: God loves you. His Word is ‘not Yes and No’- ‘Yes, I love you. No, I don’t love you’. In Christ, His Word is ‘always Yes’(1:19). How do we know that God loves us? - ‘God showed His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’(Romans 5:8). Whatever may happen to us, nothing can change this great fact: Christ died for us. This is the great fact of God’s love. Life is not easy. There is ‘Satan’, always seeking ‘to gain the advantage over us’(2:11). We do not stand alone in our battle against Satan. God ‘has given us His Spirit in our hearts’. He is the ‘guarantee’ of our final victory (1:22).

2 Corinthians 2:12-3:18
How do we react when things don’t seem to be going very well? We all need the encouragement of God’s Word: ‘Thanks be to God, who in Chr…

"Now Is The Day Of Salvation."

In our thinking about the Lord’s Return, it is very important that we do not forget that the decision between salvation and judgment is one which must be made here and now. The Bible speaks of the Day of the Lord’s Return as a Day of salvation for the Lord’s believing people. The Lord’s Return will also bring a Day of judgment for all who turn their backs on the Saviour. The Bible also speaks of another day of salvation, another day of judgment. That day is today. This is precisely what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:2 - “Now is the day of salvation.” Now is the time for making your decision for Christ. Now is the time for faith in the Saviour. Jesus underlines the importance of our present response to Him. He does this, in John 3:18, when He speaks of those who are already under judgment because of their unbelief: “he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God.” The Lord awaits for our response now. May God hel…

Lord, help us to win others for You.

Proverbs 1:20-33 Lord, help us to win others for You. You’ve called us to be Your witnesses. How can we be Your witnesses – when there is so much about us that is unworthy of You, so much that speaks so loudly of ourselves, so little that proclaims the amazing grace of Jesus? Lord, we thank You that, along with this high calling – “you shall be My witnesses”, you give to us Your wonderful promise: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8).

How Are We To Live? - We Live By The Grace Of God....

Titus 1:1-2:10 How are we to live? We are not to be ‘empty talkers’, people who ‘profess to know God’ and ‘deny Him by their deeds’(1:10,16). We must give no one the opportunity to ‘speak evil of God’s Word’. We must be ‘a model of good deeds’, showing ‘the beauty of the teachings about God our Saviour in everything we do’(2:5,7,10). When we live in a Christlike way, ‘those who oppose’ Christ and His Gospel will be ‘put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us’(2:8). This is how we are to live. How do we live? This is a question for all of us. It is a question which will make us feel uncomfortable. We don’t find it easy to look closely at the way we live our lives. We won’t get away with glossing over things. God calls us to pray, ‘Search me, O God... Cleanse me from every sin...’(Psalm 139:23-24; Mission Praise, 587). 
Titus 2:11-3:15 We read in 2:11,13 of Christ’s coming in grace- ‘the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people’- and His coming in glory- …

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.

Philippians 3:12-4:23
‘Christ Jesus has made me His own’(3:12). In Paul`s words, we hear an echo of Jesus` words, ‘You did not choose Me... I chose you’(John 15:16). Christ has claimed us for Himself. He has laid claim to every part of our life. We are to ‘rejoice in the Lord always’(4). We are to bring ‘everything’ to Him in prayer (6). We are to be ‘content in all circumstances’(4:11-12). We are to face every challenge with confidence in His strength - ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’(4:13). We are to trust Him to ‘supply’ our ‘every need’(4:19). In every situation, we can come to the Lord, trusting in His promise: ‘the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’(7). Whatever is happening, take it to the Lord in prayer and let Him give you His peace.

God Is Calling Us To Be Faithful To Him.

Nahum 1:1-2:9
‘Fulfil your vows’ (1:15). God is calling us to be faithful to Him. We are to be faithful in worship. We are to be faithful in reading His Word. We are to be faithful in prayer. We are to be faithful in giving. We are to be faithful in witness. Our faith is to be real. Our faith is to make a difference. It’s to change the way we live. It’s not to be a case of ‘faith without works’. That kind of ‘faith’ is ‘dead’ (James 2:17). Our whole life is to be a life of faith. It is to be a life of ‘love’. We are to live ‘for the glory of God’ (Romans 14:23; 1 Corinthians 16:14; 10:31). ‘Fill Thou our life, O Lord our God, in every part with praise... Not for the lip of praise alone, nor even the praising heart we ask, but for a life made up of praise in every part’ (Church Hymnary, 457).
Nahum 2:10-3:19
To those who refuse to live in obedience to Him, God speaks His Word of judgment: ‘I am against you’ (2:13; 3:5). Those who refuse to listen to God’s Word of salvation - ‘…

What Is More Important To You - Your Own Reputation Or The Glory Of God?

2 Samuel 16:1-23
What is more important to you - your own reputation or the glory of God? ‘Curse David’- This was the last thing David wanted to hear. It may, however, have been what he needed to hear. Here, we see David’s true spiritual stature. This was not a ‘feel good’ message. David recognized that this might be what the Lord was saying to him (10). He speaks against us so that we might learn to stop speaking against Him. He speaks of His righteousness that we might see our own unrighteousness. He speaks of His judgment that we might see how hopeless our situation is without Christ. He speaks of our sin that we might be brought to Christ for salvation (John 16:8-11; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-2:2). Let there be no more talk of your righteousness. Confess your sins and trust the Saviour.

“The Peace Of God, Which Passes All Understanding, Will Keep Your Hearts And Minds In Christ Jesus.”

2 Samuel 17:1-29
Here, we have a tragic train of events. Ahithophel’s advice was ‘not good’. His advice ‘was not followed’. He ‘hanged’ himself (7,23). Without going into detail about this particular suicide, we may make some general comments about coping with life’s difficulties. Things don’t go according to plan. Our hopes are dashed. Nothing seems to work out. Everything seems to go wrong. We allow things to get on top of us. Very quickly and very easily, things can get completely out of control. Everything is out of proportion. It seems like there is nothing worth living for. Suicide becomes a strangely attractive way out. What are we to do when such thoughts fill our minds? - Remember God’s promise: “The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”(Philippians 4:7).

‘Christ Died For Sins, Once For All, The Righteous For The Unrighteous, To Bring You To God.’

2 Samuel 18:1-33
Some die young. Others live to a ripe old age. None of us can predict what lies ahead of us. There are some things that are beyond our control. We look at what is happening and we say, ‘I wish things could be different’. Absalom had been killed. David wished he could have died instead of him. It was not to be. Each of us must die our own death: ‘No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him - the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough - that he should live on for ever and not see decay’(Psalm 49:7-9). There is, however, a ‘Man’ who has died for us - Jesus Christ, ‘our Lord and our God’. He ‘gave Himself as a ransom for all’. ‘Christ died for sins, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God’(John 20 28; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 Peter 3:18).

From Pride To Praise

2 Samuel 24:1-25
Here, we see the spirit of pride. David wanted to ‘know the number of the people’ (2). Why? He wanted to feel important - ‘the big man’. He was not giving the glory to the Lord. He was taking it for himself. Did God give up on David - ‘a hopeless case, too full of himself and his own importance’? Of course not! The Lord, whose ‘mercy is great’, drew David back to Himself. David confessed his sin - ‘I have sinned greatly… I have done very foolishly… I have sinned and I have done wickedly’(10,17). David was accepted by the Lord - ‘The Lord your God accepts you’. He was brought from pride to praise (23,25). This is what God has done for us. We are ‘accepted in the Beloved’- ‘to the praise of His glorious grace’ (Ephesians 1:6).

God Is Calling For Our Attention!

Amos 1:1-2:16
‘The Lord roars’. ‘The Lord thunders’(1:2). God’s Word comes to us from above - ‘The Lord will roar from on high’. He speaks to us from heaven - ‘He will thunder from His holy dwelling’. We dare not ignore the Word of the Lord. His Word comes to us as a Word of warning - ‘He will shout against all who live on the earth’- and a Word of judgment - ‘He will bring judgment on all mankind’. God is calling for our attention: ‘Look! Disaster is spreading from nation to nation; a mighty storm is rising from the ends of the earth’. God speaks to us about His ‘fierce anger’. He calls us to turn from our sin. Let us return to the Lord and hear His Word of salvation: ‘I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more (Jeremiah 25:30-32,37; 31:34).

Amos 3:1-5:5
‘You only have I chosen... therefore I will punish you for all your sins’(3:2). Along with the privilege of being ‘chosen’ to belong to the Lord comes the responsibility of living as the servants …

There Is Only One Kingdom Which Stands Forever - The Kingdom Of God.

Daniel 1:1-2:16
‘Daniel resolved not to defile himself’(8). Daniel was devoted to the Lord. It was not easy to live as the Lord’s faithful servant. His dedication to the Lord was put to the test - ‘Test your servants’(12). Our faith is put to the test. We ‘suffer many trials’. Why does God allow our faith to be tested by ‘all kinds of trials? - ‘The testing of your faith produces steadfastness’. ‘These have come so that your faith, which is much more precious than gold, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed’(1 Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-3). Knowing that ‘every trial falls from above, traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love’, may we learn to ‘trust God fully’ and ‘find Him wholly true’(Mission Praise, 421).

Daniel 2:17-49
‘In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom that will never be destroyed’(44). There is only one Kingdom which stands forever - the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom is eternal. Through…

I’d Rather Have Jesus Than Silver Or Gold.

Daniel 5:1-31
We are not to ‘praise the gods of gold and silver...’(4). Material possessions must never take the place of God. Seeking material prosperity is not to be the most important thing in our lives. We are to ‘seek first His Kingdom...’. We are to ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’(Matthew 6:33; 2 Peter 3:18). ‘I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold, I’d rather be His than have riches untold...I’d rather have Jesus... than to be the king of a vast domain and be held in sin’s dread sway. I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today. I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause, I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause; I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame, I’d rather be true to His holy Name’(Mission Praise, 319).

Daniel 6:1-28
‘He is the living God and He endures for ever; His Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end’(26). He is the living God. He is also the loving God - ‘His love endures…

Salvation Always Begins With God's Great Love For Us.

Daniel 9:1-27
'O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!’(19). How do we know God will hear and answer our prayer as we look to Him for salvation? - ‘The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him’(9). We come to God with our sin- We are ‘dead in our sins and wickedness’. He comes to us with His grace- ‘By grace you have been saved through faith’. We come to God, deeply conscious of our sin. We know in our hearts that we can do nothing to save ourselves. The way of salvation can never begin with the word, ‘I’. It always begins with God. It begins with His love - ‘His great love for us’: ‘God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our sins’(Ephesians 2:1,4-5,8).

Daniel 10:1-11:13
Daniel came to God in great weakness- ‘I am helpless... My strength is gone...’(16-17). From the Lord, Daniel received great strength- ‘The One who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength... When He …

The Blessing Comes Down As The Worship Goes Up.

Ezra 1:1-2:35
To ‘all’ of us, God gives His call. We are to ‘rebuild the House of the Lord’. To ‘all’ of us, He gives His strength: ‘Then... all those whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the House of the Lord’(1:3,5). If the work of God is to be done, every one must play their part. No one must opt out. No one must say, ‘There’s nothing for me to do’. There’s always something to do. There’s something for every one. God has so much work for us to do. We must not fail Him. He is calling you to serve Him. He will give you the strength that you need. Open your heart to Him. Surrender your life to Him. ‘Every person in every nation, in each succeeding generation, has the right to hear the news that Christ can save... Father, I am willing to dedicate to Thee, life and talent, time and money. Here am I, send me’.

Ezra 2:36-3:13
At the heart of God’s work, there is worship - ‘praising and giving thanks to the Lord’. This is our first priority. We must not forget t…

God Wants To Bless Us. How Much Do We Want To Be Blessed By Him?

Ezra 8:1-36
The return of God’s people to Jerusalem was not simply a geographical return - moving from one place to another. It was a spiritual return. They were returning to the Lord. They were seeking His blessing (21). Without God’s blessing, we are nothing. We may have happy memories of better days, recalling ‘the good old days’. We may look back to times of blessing, remembering how the hand of the Lord was upon us. If this is all we have, we have nothing. We are no longer in the place of blessing. We need to return to the Lord. The times of blessing can come again. God gives us His promise: ‘The hand of our God is for good upon all that seek Him’(22). God wants to bless us. How much do we want to be blessed by Him? If the times of blessing are to return to us, we must ‘return to the Lord’(Isaiah 55:6-13).

Ezra 9:1-10:44
The return of God’s blessing begins with a real confession of sin - ‘our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens’(9:6…

Wait On The Lord And Renew Your Strength.

Habakkuk 2:15-3:19
We are to ‘be silent before God. We are to ‘stand in awe’ of Him. In His holy presence, we become deeply conscious of our sin which separates us from Him: ‘Your eyes are too pure to look on evil’. Confessing our sin to God, we pray that ‘in wrath’ He will ‘remember mercy’. We pray that He will ‘renew’ us with His blessing. God answers our prayer. He sends His ‘glory’ into our lives. He fills our hearts with His ‘praise’: ‘I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The Lord God is my Strength. He makes my feet like the feet of the deer. He enables me to go on the heights’. ‘Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles...’(2:20; 3:2; 1:13; 3:18-19; Isaiah 40:31).