DIG for Sunday the 29th of May…..do we walk the walk as well as talk the talk…..Acts 1 v 8

Every time I come to conference I am encouraged and challenged; time for me to share the challenge!

In Wendell’s message today he used Acts 1 v 8, a verse well known to most of us.

Today the word that struck home with me was “be”; ye shall be witnesses unto me.

Most people in church today are encouraged to witness to others i.e. tell them about Jesus.

That is not what Jesus is telling us here.

He is telling us to be witnesses i.e. show people Jesus, through the way he live and walk, rather than just telling them about our faith.

Let’s be honest, we have all seen Christians who “talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk”.

We should be witnesses unto Christ is our everyday life, in our workplace, in school, at home and in the shops, indeed wherever we are.

Rest assured that if people know you profess a faith in Jesus they will be watching you, and if they see hypocrisy they will never listen to what you have to say.

Jesus wants you to be a witness rather than just witness!

And if you want to be a witness to Jesus this verse says that you need to be baptised in the Holy Spirit (but more on that later).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have provide me with the baptism of the Holy Spirit in order to enable me to be a witness for Jesus”.

Acts 1 v 8…..But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth

DIG for Saturday the 28th of May…..do we identify with our sickness and disease…..Matthew 5 v 34

Healing should be an easy process; Jesus took all our sickness and disease on His body and by His stripes we were healed (1 Peter 2 v 24).

Yet, sometimes we do not see healing, especially when the sickness has been long term.

In a case like this a person can identify with their illness, they can make it part of their identity.

When the woman with the issue of blood (a long term illness) was healed Jesus said “and be whole of thy plague”.

He didn’t say the plague, he said thy plague.

Had the woman been ill for so long that she had made this illness part of her identity?

Did Jesus recognise this in the woman?

This may just be conjecture with the woman, but it could be true for us.

The good news is that even if we think that way at the moment we can change how we think.

We can push through, become determined and reach out to take our healing; this is what we see the woman doing in this account.

What I’ve been learning this weekend is that we need to be aggressive in taking our healing; the Lord wants us to live in health (and prosperity) above all things, but we need to play our part in accepting our healing.

So, stop identifying with your illness and start identifying with your healing.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the healing that you have already provided through the finished work of Jesus”.

Matthew 5 v 34…..And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague

DIG for Friday the 27th of May…..stop looking for the next ‘new’ teaching…..1 Corinthians 15 v 34

I’ve just recently finished a preaching series at MGF and have been seeking the Lord about what to preach next.

One thought was to cover baptism of the Holy Spirit or righteousness, but I thought not again as I’d covered these topics before.

Then along came the Grace and Faith conference, and Duane is preaching on righteousness and Wendell is covering the baptism of the Holy Spirit; Andrew is covering healing, another topic that I “know about”.

The teaching however has been amazing and I am buzzing!

There are topics in the Christian life that we cannot hear enough about, and these topics are among that list.

The Lord has taught me a number of valuable lessons already this weekend.

We cannot preach too much on important topics that will change the lives of those who get true revelation; this includes healing, righteousness and baptism of the Holy Spirit.

We should never go to church (or conference) looking for “new” teaching.

We all need to stay teachable, especially in areas of the Word that we think we know about.

The teaching so far at Grace and Faith has been simple yet profound, covering fundamental and foundational topics; I know how they have impacted myself and my family.

When Duane spoke out 1 Corinthians 15 v 34, a verse I know very well and use all the time, I wanted to stand on my seat and scream out, “YES”.

Will you go to church this weekend looking for new teaching, or wanting confirmation and reaffirmation of fundamental and foundational truths?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the truths held in your Word, the truths that will change my life”.

1 Corinthians 15 v 34…..Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame

DIG for Thursday the 26th of May…..the benefits of Christian fellowship…..Hebrews 10 v 25

The Grace and Faith conference has started and I am being blessed already, so the DIGs for the next few days will probably be either what Duane or Andrew or Wendell has been saying!

I know the teaching will be good, that is one of the main reasons for coming to a conference like this, however the other main reason is for the fellowship.

At a gathering like this you come together with like-minded people, all sharing one thing in common, that is faith in the mercy, compassion and goodness of the Lord.

When Nunsy and I started out in what is known as “the grace message” we did not have many like-minded people in our church and it was conferences and minister’s meetings where we met people with the same doctrine as we had.

They encouraged us, built us up and helped us in our walk; this was ten years ago now.

The wonderful thing is that we met up with some of those same people in the conference last night!

The other great thing for us is that we now have many people of the same view in our local church.

But it is still great to meet those who guided us in the early days.

The point I am trying to make is that we all need encouraged, edified and exhorted and that is done when we meet up with men and women of God, as a group that we call church.

We may be at conference (on a Saturday morning now), but we are getting ready to go to church.

We are getting ready to be blessed.

I pray that you are in fellowship with like-minded people, if not you need to find some.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Christian fellowship”.

Hebrews 10 v 25…..Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching

DIG for Wednesday the 25th of May…..is our life a signpost to Jesus…..John 20 v 31

If we think our faith and our Christian walk is all about ourselves then we need to read John 20 v 31 and get a reality check!

The ultimate purpose of the Word is to point people to Jesus and to life; this should also be our aim too.

Our walk, who we are and what we do should make other people want to know more about Jesus.

Jesus came that people could have life and life in more abundance (John 10 v 10).

If we proclaim that we are followers of Jesus our walk should be bout showing Him and His goodness to others.

I’m not talking about preaching to people, I am saying that our whole life should be a ‘sermon’, showing people Jesus through our attitudes, words and actions.

Jesus was a man (and God of course) of love, mercy and compassion; can we say the same about ourselves?

If we are honest, we would probably say sometimes but maybe not enough.

However, what I have seen in my life and in the walk of others, is that as we know and love Jesus more these traits are displayed more and more.

So I am not suggesting we try and be more loving and compassionate, I am saying that as we understand more about Jesus through His Word we will display more of these aspects of character.

In this way we will point more people to Jesus!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word and thank you that it is a signpost to Jesus”.

John 20 v 31….. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name

DIG for Tuesday the 24th of May…..creation cries out that there is a God…..Genesis 1 v 21

I was at a funeral today of a brother in the Lord, and as he was being laid to rest there were oystercatchers ‘shrieking’ close by.

As I looked I saw why they were getting so agitated, they had three chicks quite close to the funeral.

This was rather apt as the brother being buried was an avid birdwatcher and lover of nature.

For him, and for me, nature in all its glory cries out that there is a God.

We shared a number of times together watching red kites and ospreys (among other things) in the glorious outdoors.

Today I was reminded of the beauty of creation and the beauty of the Creator.

The wonderful and intricate relationships between species points to an intelligent Designer, points to God.

Let me ask you this for example; what came first, the flower with the nectar to attract insects or the insects that can pollinate the flowers?

One needs the other, yet we are expected to believe that they both evolved to give us the relationship we see today.

Let me ask you another question; how is it that fossils of birds can be found underneath the fossils of the dinosaurs that they were supposed to have evolved from?

Doesn’t add up does it!

The truth is what we read in Genesis, that God created the wonderful world and all the species in it.

Go out and enjoy that creation today, I already have!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the wonder of creation, thank you for the variety of species that displays your handiwork so clearly”.

Genesis 1 v 21…..And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that is was good

DIG for Monday the 23rd of May……yes, even for those you don’t like and didn’t vote for…..1 Timothy 2 v 1 and 2 

I attended a Bible study last night where the group were listening to a message by Duane Sheriff, and he spoke among others things about 2 Timothy 2 v 1 and 2.

Since listening to the message I have been thinking about little else!

He spoke about the difference between government and politics, and about how essential government is, and about how we have to pray for our leaders and people in authority, in all levels of government.

Now let’s be honest here, I’ve struggled with this idea in the past and I’m sure you have too.

I do not always get the government that I vote for; that’s called democracy.

However, whatever government is in power they are working under a God ordained system (God did not ordain anarchy) and they deserve our prayers.

OK, we may not have voted for them and we may not like them or their policies, but the Word says we should pray for them.

We have no excuse (and I write this primarily for my benefit); we cannot say we will not pray for them, or we are going against the Word of God.

We cannot pick and choose the Scriptures that we adhere to, especially when it is as crystal clear as these two verses.

You would have to get someone to help you misunderstand these verses, to come to the conclusion that you do not need to pray for those in authority.

I for one was given a proverbial “boot up the you-know-what” last night, and know I need to not only change my attitude towards those leading my county, country and nation, but change the way I pray.

We all need to pray for those in authority, it really is that simple.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you instigated authority structures and government, and I commit from this day forward to pray for those in authority”.

1 Timothy 2 v 1 and 2…..I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we lay lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty