DIG for Saturday the 28th of September…..freedom from sin, not freedom to sin; the “grace message”……Romans 6 v 14

The “grace message” or the gospel of truth about Jesus Christ and His finished work is what will set people free from sin.

Too often I have heard believers (and other ministers and pastors) say that the grace message is a licence to sin; this is not true, in fact the opposite is true.

The knowledge of grace; that we have been unconditionally forgiven, are unconditionally loved, are already blessed with all we need is a wonderful truth that sets people free to live an abundant life away from sin.

The Word actually says that sin will not have dominion over us because we live under grace (Romans 6 v 14).

If we live under law we are more likely to see sin in our lives as law strengthens sin in us (1 Corinthians 15 v 56).

This is the opposite of what religion and legalism teaches, yet it is the biblical truth.

What we think on enlarges in our lives and what we focus on happens (“as a man thinketh so is he” is written in Proverbs 23 v 7); the law says stop this sin and stop that sin, and simply reminds us or strengthens sin in our lives.

Just watch what people do when they see a “wet paint, do not touch” sign; this will show you a perfect example of what law does to people! half the people will touch it and the rest will really want to.

The good news about the finished work of Jesus Christ takes our focus away from ourselves and our sin and onto Him; and holy actions will result.

Holiness (or lack on sin) comes as a direct result of knowledge of Jesus and His finished work, or what I would call the grace message.

Grace sets you free from sin, not free to sin.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the gospel, the truth about Jesus and His finished work; thank you for your grace”.

Romans 6 v 14…..For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace

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DIG for Friday the 27th of September…..in trouble; be like David and encourage yourself in the Lord…..1 Samuel 30 v 6

David was in a wee spot of bother in this passage of scripture; his camp had been burned and his family, and those of his men, had all been taken into captivity.

After weeping until they could weep no more (and this included David) they looking like they were going to take their anger out on David.

After weeping do we see David moaning and complaining; no we see him “encouraging himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30 v 6), even though he was greatly distressed.

This is a wonderful example for us to follow in our times of trouble and distress.

But how do I encourage myself in the Lord my God you may be asking.

The answer is probably different for each one of us.

Speaking personally I listen to loud worship music, I read His Word, I walk along His beaches or up in His mountains or sometimes I sit and pray by His sea; I encourage myself in the Lord my God in a number of ways, but each one really is just spending time with Him.

You may do other things or something similar, but in times of trouble and distress (which surely come to us all) the best course of action is to encourage yourself in the Lord your God.

In the next few verses we see David, after being encouraged, seeking advice from God and then being obedient; you will see that as a result of this he recovers everything that the enemy had stolen from him (1 Samuel 31 v 18).

The enemy may try and steal from you; encourage yourself in Him, seek Him and be obedient to Him and you will see everything returned to you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can make the conscious decision, in times of trouble and distress, to encourage myself in you, my Lord and my God”.

1 Samuel 30 v 6…..And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God

DIG for Thursday the 26th of September…..it is written, it is written, it is written…..Matthew 4 v 4

Jesus had some difficult times during His life on earth; one of the hardest must have been His temptation from the enemy after a long time in the desert.

He could have called down an army of angels to help Him; He could have used His divine power; He could have done almost anything to come against the temptations.

Instead, He used the Word of God against the enemy; He used the Word again to strengthen Himself

3 times in Matthew chapter 4 He says “It is written….”

It is written that man shall not live only by food, but by scripture (Matthew 4 v 4).

It is written that man should not tempt God (Matthew 4 v 7).

It is written that man should only serve God and God alone (Matthew 4 v 10).

Jesus quoted the Word of God to the enemy when He was in trouble; this is a lesson we need to learn.

All of the bible, all of scripture, is literally God breathed (2 Timothy 3 v 16); or all scripture has come out of the mouth of God.

The Word is a powerful weapon that we can use to encourage and strengthen ourselves, and to fight against the enemy.

That means that we should all be reading, meditating and studying God’s Word; and this goes against what many believers want in their walk.

They want a quick fix when knowledge and understanding of HIs Word (that takes time and effort) is the agent of true and lasting change.

We are transformed when we renew our mind through the Word of God (Romans 12 v 2).

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord for your Word”.

Matthew 4 v 4…..But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God

DIG for Wednesday the 25th of September…..the two sons; a picture of law and grace…..Luke 15 v 29

Religion (man made rituals and traditions to reach out to God in order to get His approval) is based upon a performance mentality. It says that if you perform and are good, then the Lord will bless you.

It says keep the law and God will reach out to you, love you and bless you.

Grace however, says that God loves you unconditionally, independent of your performance.

The two sons in the account of the prodigal son show us a wonderful picture of law and grace (Luke 15 v 11 to 32).

The younger son’s performance was terrible; he squandered all his money, left his father and ruined himself.

Yet, when he returned to his father he was greeted with love and compassion; he was not even asked what he had done. He was loved and blessed irrespective of his performance.

The older son did not like this, complaining about how his father had treated his younger brother; he was quick also however to point out his own wonderful and exemplary performance.

He felt that he was worthy to be blessed because of his good performance and his brother was not; his brother was not worthy due to his poor performance.

That is the basis of religion and legalism, or the law; you are worthy to be loved by God and blessed because of your performance.

This account tells us that God does not operate according to the way that religion portrays Him.

God loves us all with a wonderful passion no matter how we perform, He loves us all unconditionally; He is love (1 John 4 v 8). The father in this picture loved both his sons, as God loves every single one of us on this earth.

We now live under grace and not under the law; we live under the New Covenant (Romans 6 v 14). We are loved because He is love.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you love me unconditionally, irrespective of my good or bad performance”.

Luke 15 v 29…..And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends

DIG for Tuesday the 24th of September…..he decided to go into the pigsty and he decided to come out of it…..Luke 15 v 20

One of the worst lies of the enemy is that God puts sorrow and pain on His children to make them better and to improve them.

This is nonsense; saying that God is “sovereign” over all things and has decided what we are to go through is heresy and unbiblical.

God does not put illness on us or put us into horrendous situations; he can use these situations for change, however he is not the master of disaster (Romans 8 v 28).

In this parable of the prodigal son we see a picture of one aspect of the relationship between man and God.

The son made the decision to leave and the father accepted this (Luke 15 v 12 and 13).

The son made some bad decisions that ended up with him in pain and in need (Luke 15 v 13 and 14).

The son realised that he had made mistakes and decided to go back to his father (Luke 15 v 17 and 18).

The son took all these decisions using his own free will; the father never imposed his wants and needs on the son; the father never forced his son into the pigsty and he did not pull him out of it either.

The father was waiting for the son with his arms wide open and blessings ready to be placed upon him.

Like the son, we make our own decisions in life; why is it that when some people make wrong decisions they want to blame God for the outcome?

Yes, today we have the Holy Spirit speaking to us and encouraging us to take the correct decision however we make the final choice ourselves.

God has given us all freewill and will not impose his wants onto us against our freewill; He will not operate “sovereignly” on earth, especially after having given us power and authority to operate on His behalf.

Our Heavenly Father is waiting with arms open wide for ALL His children to come to Him, those who have been with Him and gone away as well as those who have never come to Him before.

He has abundant blessings ready for every single person; He wants to fall on ever neck and kiss every one of His children (2 Peter 3 v 9).

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord that you love every one of your children, and thank you that you love and want to bless me”.

Luke 15 v 20…..And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was afar off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him

DIG for Monday the 23rd of September…..I have sinned; aye, but you have returned so let’s have a party…..Luke 15 v 24

The account of the prodigal son is a passage of scripture that I return to again and again; I however, prefer to call it the account of the prodigal’s Father.

This passage tells us more about God than it does about us.

When the son comes to himself (or gets his thinking straight in other words) he decides to go back to his father. His father had of course been looking out for him and in a display of awesome compassion gives him a wonderful welcome.

What I love most however about this account is when the son starts to talk about his sin and say that he is not worthy.

The father completely ignores this and shouts for a party to begin (Luke 15 v 22).

The father is not concerned about what the son has done, it is almost as if he has forgotten that, and is simply happy that his son has returned.

This is of course a picture of Father God and His attitude towards us.

He is not concerned about our sin because Jesus has dealt with all that on the cross (1 John 2 v 2). All He is concerned about is that we come to Him, where He is ready to welcome us with open arms.

The father hugged his son with violence (fell on his neck) when he returned, even though he had squandered all that the father had given him. The father them gives him more.

Our Heavenly Father wants to lavish blessing upon blessing on us in a similar manner; in fact He has provided all spiritual blessings that we could need already through the finished work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1 v 3).

The prodigal’s father gave him the best that he had to offer (fatted calf, robe, shoes, ring) and our Father in heaven does the same; He wants us to have the best and live and abundant life here on earth (John 10 v 10).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you want the best for me, and you have already provided for this through the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

Luke 15 v 24…..For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry

DIG for Sunday the 22nd of September…..All roads lead to God; but not to Eternal Life…..Matthew 7 v 14

Thanks to Nunsy for the DIG today…………

There is a saying ‘All roads lead to God’; this is a true saying, but not in the way it is usually meant!

All roads lead to God, but not all roads lead to eternal life.

Paul says that we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and that every knee will bow and every tongue confess…all of us; those who have accepted Jesus and those that have not (Romans 14:10 and 11).

So yes, all roads do lead to God…the question is ‘which gate did you go through to get there?’.

Imagine you are one of the Israelites in Egypt preparing to leave with Moses.
You’ve taken a lamb, one without blemish, and you’ve got the blood ready to paint your doorposts.
I imagine the whole family going out to watch the blood going onto the doorposts…
…and then they walk through that door into safety.

This is like the narrow gate. It is the only one covered by the blood of the lamb.
The one who puts his trust in Jesus’ finished Work will enter into eternal life.
The one who puts his trust in anything else (usually their own good works) will enter by the other gate…

It’s the gate that matters, not the road.

Jesus said a similar thing in John 10:7 where He says that He is the door.
The Greek word used for door is ‘thura’ – a portal, a door…a gate.

He is the only entrance to eternal life.
He is the only Way.
(John 14:6)

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus is the only Way to eternal life, and thank you that I have it because of His finished work on the cross”.

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.