I never fail to be amazed when I look up at the sky at night; I marvel at the display of stars that we can see even with the naked eye.
I have a friend who takes photographs through his telescope and the views he shows me are even more impressive.
The universe is a wonderful display of the creative power of God.
Even as a scientist “by trade” I cannot see how this awesome universe could have came from nothing (sorry, from a singularity).
The Word is clear that everything in the world and the universe was created by God, and no-one will make me change my mind on this.
I’ve had a number of non-Christian friends try to argue me into believing in the big bang and evolution.
As a Christian I can say that I believe the Bible; as a scientist I also believe that the Laws of Thermodynamics show that the big bang and evolution are not possible.
The Word is very clear; Jesus was the agent of creation, and all things were created by Him and for Him (Colossians 1 v 16).
The Lord is indeed glorious and His display above our heads is His fingerprint.
Enjoy His creation; enjoy His mighty display; let the heavens draw you towards HIm in wonder.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your amazing display of power and glory”.
Psalm 19 v 1…..The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork
Jesus’ message and mission is so inclusive; anyone and everyone can receive His forgiveness, mercy and love; they just need to accept Him.
2 Peter 3 v 9 tells us that the Lord wants everyone to be saved, and the opportunity is there for all.
In the Gospel of John we see a wonderful picture of this inclusivity of Jesus; He wants anyone and everyone to follow Him; He wants everyone to live an abundant life because of His finished work on the cross (John 10 v 10).
In John 3 Jesus relates to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews (John 3 v 1).
Nicodemus was from the highest level of Jewish society of the day; he was part of the ruling class of the day.
In John 4 Jesus relates to the Samaritan woman, a woman of “disrepute”.
This woman was representative of the lowest level of society; she was a Samaritan (a “mongrel” race and half Jewish) and she was a clear sinner; she was living with a man yet unmarried!
This is my favourite picture of the inclusivity of Jesus; He came for the highest and the lowest; He came for the rulers and the “dregs”of society.
This is a marvellous picture of His love for all mankind; Nicodemus went to Jesus but Jesus went to the Samaritan woman (John 4 v 4 says “And he must needs go through Samaria”); He went to the lowest of the low to involve them in His love, forgiveness and mercy.
Jesus wants to involve you; Jesus loves you; you are involved in His wonderful inclusive plan for mankind.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus came for me”.
2 Peter 3 v 9…..The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsufffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance
I sent a text today reminding a friend of Proverbs 3 v 5 and 6 and I’m glad I did as I needed to be reminded of it today as well.
To trust in the Lord with all you have got is great advice.
Not to trust in our own human judgement is great advice.
To realise He knows what is best for us and to walk in that path is great advice.
Many situations and problems arise that knock us and set us back; although not sent from God He can use these situations for good if we let Him (Romans 8 v 28).
In trials and troubles we need to rely on Him and look to Him for guidance; look to Him for the best way to handle a situation and the best way to progress out of a given problem.
He wants the best for us and wants us to prosper and be in health (3 John 1 v 2).
Look to Him and to the spiritual side of a problem or trial, do not just look at the carnal or physical situation.
To only look at the carnal and physical will end in pain and grief, looking at the spiritual will result in blessings (Romans 8 v 6).
Look to the Lord, trust in the Lord and see the spiritual dimension of your trials and difficulties.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are interested in me and know what is best for me”.
Proverbs 3 v 5 and 6…..Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths
I used a lot of scriptures at church today from Hebrews 9 and 10; I call these the ONCE chapters.
Hebrews 9 and 10 describes the finished work of Jesus on the cross and uses the words one and once many times.
9 v 27 says Jesus was appointed to die once.
9 v 28 says He was offered once for the sins of many.
10 v 10 says that we are sanctified through the once only work of Jesus.
10 v 12 says that Jesus offered one sacrifice and then sat down (as HIs work was finished).
10 v 14 says that Jesus made one offering and this perfected us forever.
Jesus offered Himself once and dealt with your sin once; when you were born again you were changed once. Your spirit was born again once and it was made righteous and holy once (2 Corinthians 5 v 21 and Ephesians 4 v 24).
Just as Jesus died only once and performed HIs work only once, so you can only be reconciled, forgiven and made righteous once. You cannot make yourself more righteous through your own efforts, you can only trust that the work of Jesus was enough.
Righteousness and forgiveness is not a process, it is a once only event. You are forgiven and you are righteous, if you have trusted Jesus.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I am righteous and that I have been forgiven”.
Hebrews 10 v 12…..But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God
Although Peter had doubts and made many mistakes he went on to write a couple of epistles of Scripture.
In 2 Peter he tells us of the importance of the Word of God.
Peter, you will remember, had been at the transfiguration of Jesus (2 Peter 1 v 16 to 18).
He saw Jesus transformed and also heard the audible voice of God; he says in his second epistle that Scripture is better than that.
He is really saying that the Word of God is superior to experiences.
He says we have a more sure word of prophecy (verse 19) and that this Word was spoken by God through the Holy Spirit.
We are blessed in that we have access to this Word; I would suggest that you make use of the Word rather than chasing experiences.
Peter must have had some amazing experiences with Jesus, yet he writes that the Word is better.
Peter walked on water, witnessed many being healed and saw the transfiguration of Jesus, yet he advises us that the Word is better.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the Word”.
2 Peter 1 v 21…..For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit
Peter was a disciple who did not always get it right, and that does encourage me.
He did however give things a try and we see him in this account getting out of the boat to walk to Jesus. Now, say what you like about Peter but he was the one who got out of the boat, and there is a lesson there for us all.
You will never walk on water unless you get out of the boat!
Peter however starts to get into trouble as he is actually walking across the water to Jesus; he takes his eyes away from Jesus and looks at his natural surroundings.
Peter moves his view away from Jesus and the spiritual realm and towards the waves and weather and the carnal realm.
It is at this point that he starts to sink.
I’m sure you can empathise with Peter about this; I know it has happened in my life. I have taken my mind off Jesus and started to sink; sink into the mire that is life and circumstances, letting issues and problems overwhelm me.
When focussing on Jesus these problems and issues did not matter, but as soon as the focus left Jesus problems got bigger; does this sound familiar to you?
Keep your eyes upon Jesus; focus on the spiritual and not on the carnal and physical; remember what Romans 8 v 6 says.
Focus on Him today and don’t let yourself start to sink.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can focus on Jesus; I choose to keep my mind on Jesus”.
Matthew 14 v 30…..But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and he beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me
I’ve been thinking about Peter again recently; he is a man that intrigues and amazes me, and also a man that inspires me.
I see a man full of doubts and concerns, a man who made many mistakes, indeed a man who denied Jesus, yet a man who went on to do marvellous things for and through the Lord; we see a man used in a mighty way by the Lord.
This should encourage us as we are people with doubts and concerns who have made mistakes, yet we have a plan and purpose from God.
Prior to the crucifixion Peter did deny Jesus, just as Jesus had said (Matthew 26 v 75).
Peter at this time put his own welfare and concerns ahead of Jesus; I am sure we have all done that at one point or another.
Do not let this condemn you, as we see Peter “restored” to faith and love for Jesus we see Him being part of the great drive of the disciples to spread the good news after Pentecost.
Even after this denial Jesus loved and used Peter.
Even if you are not perfect (and which of us are) and have in your own eyes failed the Lord, do not be condemned as the Lord still loves you and still wants to use you; just like He did with Peter.
After denying Jesus Peter went on to help build the church and even write part of Scripture; who knows what you will do for the Lord.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you that even after my mistakes you still love me and have a plan and purpose for me”.
Matthew 26 v 75…… And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
At church this weekend I was called a “man of the Word”, and I of course took this as a compliment.
The person told me they could see that I studied the Word and obviously preached the Word.
This was good to hear as I do believe that the Word is where we can truly learn about Jesus and it is true understanding of the Word that brings about lasting change in our lives.
So I see the Word as very important.
The account where Jesus is taken into the wilderness and tempted really shows us the importance of the Word.
We see Jesus using the Word of God to fight back against the enemy and put him in his place; 3 times Jesus answers the enemy by saying “it is written”.
This is a tool that we can use in our battles; if it was good enough for Jesus it should be good enough for us!
When the enemy tells you that God cannot love you say “it is written that God loves me” (John 3 v 16 and 2 John 4 v 9 and 10).
When the enemy tells you that you are not special say “It is written that I am very special as I was created by God and He thinks about me” (Psalm 139 v 14 to 18).
When the enemy says you are worthless say “It is written that God has a a plan and purpose for my life” (Jeremiah 1 v 5).
There are many, many passages of scripture that you can use to encourage, edify and exhort yourself; dig into the Word today and find them!
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the Bible; thank you for the power it yields”.
Luke 4 v 4…..And Jesus answered him saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God
This is a question that Paul asked the church in Galatia and it is a question that should be asked of the church today!
What on earth are you doing with another gospel?
Paul is writing to the Galatians to warn them of the dangers of legalism that has come into the church; this warning is sadly still in place today.
Anything in addition to Jesus and His finished work on the cross is another gospel; Jesus plus anything comes to nothing, while Jesus plus nothing is everything.
Jesus and His finished work on the cross is all that is required for your reconciliation, your forgiveness and your righteousness.
Anything in addition to Jesus to improve your relationship with God is legalism and is not part of the true gospel.
For the Galatians this was circumcision; for us it is being told to pray for this length of time, to stop doing this and that, to tithe, to attend every church meeting, to work in the church etc.
The grace of Christ is the gospel; it is the true gospel and it is the only gospel we should entertain; anything else is another gospel and is something we should stay well away from.
Paul marvelled or could not understand why the Galatians would move back into legalism, or into another gospel.
Please do not let any man force or trick you back into legalism; we are free from legalism and bondage and now live under the new covenant.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I am free from the bondage of legalism; thank you for the only true gospel, the grace of Christ”.
Galatians 1 v 6…..I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel
I am sure a number of people did not really like my DIG entry for yesterday.
I spoke of the fact that we are told by Paul that we should rejoice all the time (1 Thessalonians 5 v 16).
I’ve preached on rejoicing before and I am always taken to task; “you do not know my circumstances so you cannot tell me to rejoice”.
That is of course true, however it is God (through scripture) who is asking you to rejoice and He does know your circumstances!
The Lord would not ask you to do something that you are not capable of doing.
You see, the ability to rejoice is not dependent upon your circumstances, it is dependent upon your choices. We choose to rejoice or not.
Paul was in terrible circumstances yet he made a choice to rejoice; or more correctly he made the choice to rejoice in the Lord.
Paul writes a lot about joy and rejoicing to the Philippians; it is widely believed that he wrote this epistle while he was in prison.
We have the ability to make the same choice; we can focus on the negative things of life and be low, or we can focus on Him and His goodness and rejoice.
The choice is simple, but the choice is yours.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have the choice to rejoice; I choose to rejoice in You today”.
Philippians 4 v 4…..Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say rejoice