DIG for Tuesday the 7th of February…..acceptance comes before performance…..John 8 v 11

I have often said in my DIGs that all the words in the Bible are there for a reason; they are also in a specific order for a purpose.

Take John 8 v 11 for example.

In the account before this Jesus has had an encounter with the religious Pharisees and the woman taken in adultery.

Jesus has asked those without sin to cast the first stone, and of course everyone left (John 8 v 7 to 9).

Jesus asked the woman if anyone has condemned her and she says no one.

Then Jesus speaks out to her in love, compassion and mercy.

He tells her that He does not condemn her and then says go and sin no more.

He accepts her and forgives her and then says go and sin no more.

This is a picture of how forgiveness from the Lord comes before performance.

Many people think that if they are good and sin less that God will love them, bless them, forgive them and accept them.

This is not true.

All these things come before religious performance.

Jesus is more concerned that we come to Him rather than our religious dos and don’ts.

Yes, He thinks that we should not sin as that is not good for us or for those around us, but this is not His primary concern; we can see that in the order that He says things to the woman taken in adultery.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are merciful and forgiving toward us irrespective of our religious performance”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more

DIG for Monday the 6th of February…..oh boy, He must really love you…..Isaiah 53 v 10

At the Sunday service yesterday I used verses from Isaiah to show how much God loves people.

I was talking about how through the finished work of Jesus the Lord had made provision for all men to be saved and therefore made righteous.

He did this through the finished work of Jesus; through His death and resurrection.

I think over the years we have ‘tamed’ what the crucifixion of Jesus was really like.

On the cross He was unrecognisable as human; his body was absolutely smashed.

Isaiah calls this being ‘bruised’ (Isaiah 53 v 10); yes, the English really does not do this word justice.

To be ‘bruised’ means to be broken to pieces, crushed or destroyed.

This verse also tells us that it delighted the Lord (the word used is pleased) to do this.

Why, oh why was the Lord delighted to pulverise and smash the body of Jesus?

He did it because he loves you and wanted to make provision for your salvation and righteousness.

Yes, God loves you so much that His plan for your salvation included the death of His only begotten Son.

Yes, God really does love you!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you made the provision for my salvation and my righteousness through the finished work of Jesus”.

Isaiah 53 v 10…..Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand

DIG for Sunday the 5th of February…..because we are prone to forget…..Psalm 103 v 2

One of my favourite Psalms is Psalm 103.

The line that always catches my attention is verse 2; bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

This verse is deliberately in there (as all verses are of course) as we are prone to do just that, forget some of His benefits.

The Lord has already provided all spiritual blessings through the finished work of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 3).

Yet a lot of the church (probably most of it) seems to have forgotten some of these benefits.

The church does of course recognise salvation and is thankful for this.

But too many churches and believers seem to have forgotten about healing and prosperity.

These are both benefits provided by Jesus.

We are told we have been healed of all diseases (Psalm 103 v 3 and 1 Peter 2 v 24) and we have been provided with abundance (Psalm 1043 v 5 and 2 Corinthians 8 v 9).

Jesus came to bring life in abundance that talks to me of health and prosperity (John 10 v 10).

Indeed above all things the Lord wants us to live in health and prosperity (3 John 2).

Healing and prosperity are benefits provided by Jesus and we must not forget this.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you want me healed and you want me to live an abundant life”.

Psalm 103 v 2…..Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits

DIG for Saturday the 4th of February…..stand fast, don’t sit still…..Galatians 5 v 1

We are a blessed generation due to the fact that we now live under the New Covenant and under grace (Romans 6 v 14).

We have all the spiritual blessings we need (Ephesians 1 v 3) and have all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1 v 3).

However we do not just sit back with our feet up even though we know ‘works’ are not required for our blessings.

Galatians 5 v 1 says we have to stand fast in this liberty.

This is a statement of action and talks to me of perseverance and endurance.

Yes, I agree that we no longer require good works and religious performance to see God’s blessings manifest in our lives

However we do need to operate in faith and not let ourselves return to the bondage and struggle of religion.

To ‘stand fast’ means to persevere, so it implies there will be times when we do not feel like standing fast; it suggests there may be trials, temptations and persecution in our way.

Men seem to drift back to law and religion, it may feel and look like a safe place, however it is not.

Paul says it is bondage.

Stand fast in the Word, stand fast in prayer and stand fast in your faith in the Lord.

Stand fast under grace and do not be tempted back into performance-based religion, based upon the traditions of men (Colossians 2 v 8).

Grace is the best way, it is the way Jesus provided for those of us fortunate enough to like in this post-cross era.

Speak this out…..”Thank you Lord that we now live under grace and under the New Covenant”.

Galatians 5 v 1…..Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangles again with the yoke of bondage

DIG for Friday the 3rd of February…..do you want to be healed…..John 5 v 6

I’ve just seen one of the best examples of the impact that our words have on our lives.

The BBC made a documentary about the claims of healing evangelist John Mellor, and had a woman in a wheelchair make the program.

She wanted to see if John could heal her, so the plan was to go and meet him and attend one of his meetings.

It came as no surprise to me when the woman was not healed after John prayed with her.

Was this because John was a fake and did not have power?

Was it because God did not want to heal her?

No, it was because this is what the lady said before the meeting with John; “I am really proud of my identity as a disabled person, all my work is around disability and access and inclusion”.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those words were very powerful.

It reminded me of when Jesus asked the man at the pool of Bethesda if he wanted to be healed.

I used to think this was a silly question, but now I realise some people do not want to be healed as their sickness or disability is what they identify with.

It was sad to watch but I knew the lady would not be healed; she was speaking out against it before she gave it a chance.

Our words are very important, speak good and positive words over your life today.

Speak this out…..”Thank you Lord that death and life are in the power of the tongue, today I choose to speak out life”.

John 5 v 6…..When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

DIG for Thursday the 2nd of February…..there are no “ifs” in the provision of His finished work…..Ephesians 1 v 3

We know that Jesus provided many things for us through His finished work on the cross.

The Word tells us He provided acceptance, healing and prosperity among other things.

These have been provided and have been made available; we have already been blessed with this provision (Ephesians 1 v 3).

So why do some of us pray, “Lord, if it is your will, please heal me”.

Why do I hear people saying, “Lord if it is your will bless me with abundant provision”.

Friends, when we are thinking about what Jesus did on the cross there are no “ifs”!

We do not need to think or talk about if these blessings are ours or if God will do something for us.

Healing and prosperity are done deals; they provision has already been made.

We do not need to even ask God if He is willing; He has already provided what we quite often ask for.

Through His finished work Jesus has provided what we need, we have no need to ask.

There are no “ifs” with God in His provision for you!

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

Ephesians 1 v 3…..Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ

DIG for Wednesday the 1st of February…..our God is a big God…..Genesis 1 v 1

As I have often written in DIG before, I come from a scientific and mathematical background with regards to my education.

In the past I believed in evolution and the Big Bang, and I now deliberately say believe.

As a young man I just accepted what “science” told me as I did not believe in God, but looking back I can see that I was not being honest.

I just accepted everything that was contrary to the church, the Bible and faith.

Now the more I read and study science the more I believe in a Creator God.

At the moment I am reading a book called “The Universe in Your Hand”, a book all about cosmology and the universe.

As I am reading this book I keep thinking how awesome God is.

When you think about it there is only two ways the universe could be here.

Either it was created by God (or an Intelligent Designer or whatever you want to call Him) or it came from nothing as described in the Big Bang.

Now I have come to realise that it requires faith to “believe” in both, as there is not the “scientific evidence” available to prove either.

Now what is the most silly to believe; that God created it or it came from nothing?

It almost takes more “faith” to believe it came from nothing.

The truth I now believe is that God created this universe and everything in it and as I read about this universe I realise how big and awesome God is.

Yes, I agree that believing Genesis 1 v 1 takes faith, but so does the theory of the Big Bang.

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord that you are the Creator of everything and thank you that you are my Creator”.

Genesis 1 v 1…..In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth