DIG for Wednesday the 30th of October…..open their eyes, ears and hearts; now that’s a good prayer…..Acts 28 v 27

I’ve written in DIG before that I’ve heard (and often said) some silly prayers in my time in the church.

Paul gives us good examples of model prayers that we can use as a new covenant believer living under grace and not under law.

One such example is set at the end of the Book of Acts as Paul completes his ministry on earth.

He talks of the state of people hearts, ears and eyes; they are waxed gross, dull and closed respectively.

Paul prays that their eyes would see, ears hear and hearts understand in order to be saved (or converted) and healed; this is a great prayer that we can use today.

Do you ever wonder (as I often have) how to pray for your family, friends and colleagues who just do not seem to see what we have in Christ, hear what we say about the love, goodness and mercy of Jesus or understand where we are coming from?

They cannot see, hear or understand as their eyes, ears and hearts are in the same condition as the people that Paul encountered in Rome.

The good news therefore is that we can use the same prayer as he did!

Paul had success with this prayer and we can too!

Pray that their eyes and ears are open toward the good news that you can then show them and tell them; then pray that their hearts understand this gospel or good news of Jesus and His finished work.

Then we may see them saved and healed; I don’t know about you but this is what I want for my family, friends and colleagues.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the model prayer we see from Paul, and thank you Lord for the boldness and opportunity to speak this out in the days to come”.

Acts 28 v 27…..For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and shall be converted, and I should heal them

DIG for Tuesday the 29th of October…..Renew your mind and walk in resurrection freedom…..John 20 v 6 and 7

When I first read this scripture I wondered why the Holy Spirit had inspired John to mention this.

Peter and John have run to the tomb on resurrection morning.

John is the faster runner and he gets to the sepulchre first; he looks in and sees the linen clothes, but he doesn’t go in.

Then Peter comes running to the sepulchre and he, too, sees the linen clothes lying, but he goes into the tomb, and there he also sees the napkin that was about Jesus’ head, not lying with the other grave clothes, but folded in a place by itself.

This is so significant. Nothing is in the Word by accident. There is something that the Holy Spirit wants us to see in this picture.

It seems that the linen cloth was removed from around Jesus head at a different, deeper place in the tomb from the rest of the grave clothes (John didn’t see it from the entrance but Peter saw it when he went in).

Then it is as Jesus has moved towards the entrance that the rest of the clothes have been removed, and then finally He walks freely out of the tomb…

This is what I believe the Spirit wants to show us;

Before we can walk in that resurrection power of God we need to be released in our thinking.

The Word is full of exhortations about the importance of right thinking.

The more we know and understand about Jesus’ finished work, the more we will walk in His victory!

Speak this out today – Thank you, Lord, that as I renew my mind through Your Word I can walk in resurrection victory!

John 20:6,7 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

DIG for Monday the 28th of October…..you first received Him in faith, so continue in faith and not works…..Colossians 2 v 6

There are not many Christians who will tell you that you have to do this and do that, stop doing this and that, in order to be saved.

To be saved you require faith in the Lord Jesus with no works or deeds from you; you do not need to perform to be saved.

You believe and you are saved; it is as simple as that (Romans 10 v 9 and 10).

The vast majority of believers will tell you that anyone, no matter how miserable and sinful, can have faith in Jesus and receive salvation.

Yet we are told again and again that after being saved we have to do this and do that, stop doing this and stop doing that, in order for God to have relationship with us, love us and bless us.

Once saved many believers slip into a works based mentality towards God, and this is what mainstream Christianity teaches more often than not.

This is religion and legalism and is not for the born again believer; we live under grace and not under the law (Romans 6 v 14)

Salvation is so much more than a ticket into heaven, it includes healing, wholeness, joy, peace and prosperity; check out the Greek word sozo if you don’t believe me!

Paul told the Colossians that to move into their salvation (healing, wholeness, joy, peace and prosperity) they should do the same thing that they did when the first received the Lord Jesus Christ; he told them simply to believe and have faith (Colossians 2 v 6).

The same is true for us today; in order to move into the abundant blessings that God has for us (or our salvation) we have to believe and have faith in Jesus’ finished work.

No works or good performance from you is required!

We are blessed from God because of the amazing performance and work of Jesus, and our faith in that.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I am blessed because of the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

Colossians 2 v 6…..As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him

DIG for Sunday the 27th of October…..grace is not a doctrine or a message; grace is a person…..John 1 v 17

I pastor a wee church in the north of Scotland called Moray Grace Fellowship and in my local area I am known as a grace preacher; I have been introduced as that by some believers to others.

I am very happy to be introduced in this manner, as grace is not a doctrine, grace is not a message and grace is not a teaching; grace is a person!

Jesus Christ is grace (my friend Annie says that Jesus is grace on legs).

The Word says that Moses gave the law but grace and truth came in the form of Jesus Christ (John 1 v 17).

So I am happy to be known as a preacher of grace; that makes me a preacher of Jesus Christ!

The word grace can be interchanged with the word gospel through out the bible (Galatians 1 v 6).

Grace is the gospel and this is all about Jesus; the message of grace is the message of Jesus.

Grace is all about His finished work; that through Him we were reconciled to God and completely forgiven, and that through faith in Him we are made righteous.

Grace is all about Him, and not about us or our performance.

Grace, or the gospel, or the truth about Jesus and His finished work, is the truth (if it is known and understood) that will set people free; free to move into the abundant life that Jesus came to bring (John 8 v 32 and John 10 v 10).

Grace is the truth of God’s absolute and unconditional love that He has for us, a love that saw Him give up His only begotten Son for us.

Grace is wonderful, and grace is what people need to hear.

I am glad to be a grace preacher, I pray that you are too!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your truth about grace, thank you for the gospel of Jesus Christ that has set me free”.

John 1 v 17…..For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ

DIG for Saturday the 26th of October……no justification through your deeds of the law; none…..Romans 3 v 20

If you’ve been reading my DIGs for the last week or so you may be thinking that I have got it in for the law; this is not the case, but I do want to tell believers what the true purpose of the law is.

The law is not there for us to fulfil (that was a job for Jesus).

The law is not there for us to follow in order to be forgiven or justified.

The law is not there to help us lead a holy life, the opposite in fact is true.

The law is there to show us the sorry state that we are in and point us to a Saviour.

It is there to give us a knowledge of our sin (Romans 3 v 20).

Keeping the law (which is impossible) will never lead to our justification (Romans 3 v 20).

We are forgiven, justified and saved as a gift of grace through our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ (Romans 3 v 24).

These verses could not be any clearer, faith and not deeds of the law brings justification.

My favourite teacher says that you would need to get someone to help you misunderstand this; religion and legalism is doing that job!

Trust in Jesus and not in your deeds of the law; trust in His grace and enjoy!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I am justified through faith in Jesus and not by any deeds of the law”.

Romans 3 v 20…..Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin

DIG for Friday the 25th of October…..grace is the true gospel, nothing else…..Galatians 1 v 6

Paul writes a very strong letter to the Galatians warning them about moving away from the gospel.

He defines the gospel for them near the start of the letter; it is the grace of Christ (Galatians 1 v 6).

Grace and gospel can be interchanged in this context, indeed they can be interchanged throughout the Word as the grace of Christ is indeed good news.

The gospel is the truth about the finished work of Jesus Christ; that through His blood we have been unconditionally forgiven, that through faith in Him we are made righteous and that God loves us and accepts us unconditionally.

Telling a man to “turn or burn” is not the gospel, that is not good news.

Shouting at people on a street corner, or indeed in church, about their sin is not the gospel, that is not good news.

Reminding people that they are living horrible lives as a sinner is not the gospel, that is not good news.

It is the goodness of God that will lead a man to repentance (Romans 2 v 4).

The gospel is the truth about His grace; His unconditional love and mercy.

Telling a man that Jesus loves him and died for him while he was yet a sinner is the gospel, that is good news.

Telling a man he can have an abundant life through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ is the gospel, that is even more good news.

Paul got annoyed at the Galatians when they moved from grace, the only true gospel, to another gospel (in this case law and legalism).

Folks, I think it is time we got annoyed at law and legalism!

It is also time to speak nothing but grace, the true gospel, the true good news.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the true gospel; the grace of Jesus 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

DIG for Thursday the 24th of October…..Christ and nothing else, what you need for righteousness…..Romans 10 v 4

Righteousness, or right standing, is a state that most Christians are still striving for, even though they have it!

Do this and do that, stop this and stop that, is what religion tells believers so that they can become righteous; this is what the Bible calls law.

The Word of God says we have been made righteous because of faith in Jesus; this is what the bible calls grace or the gospel (2 Corinthians 5 v 2 1).

Paul writes to the Romans and goes into marvellous detail about righteousness and how it is achieved.

He says that law, and keeping the law, is not required to make a man righteous.

A man becomes right in front of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10 v 4).

Nothing else is required; as I have heard and seen written many times, Jesus plus nothing makes everything!

Israel failed with their own works and self righteousness (Romans 9 v 31), while Gentiles became righteous through faith in Jesus (Romans 9 v 30).

Paul warned the Galatian church to stay in the freedom of grace, righteousness through faith, rather than return to the bondage of the law, righteousness through self works (Galatians 5 v 1).

Do not be tempted to try and make yourself more acceptable to God through self works, accept the gift of righteousness through faith.

You cannot fail if you trust in Jesus and His finished work, as His performance was perfect. You will fail and go down a path of guilt and condemnation if you think you need to add your own works onto that of Jesus’ finished work.

Trust in Jesus and stop trying!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you that I have been made righteous through my faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

Romans 10 v 4…..For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth