DIG for Saturday the 31st of May…..the osprey and the potato; both wonders of creation…..Colossians 1 v 16

I had the pleasure this morning of going out for a walk with Nunsy down at the mouth of the River Lossie, enjoying wandering along watching the wildlife on the water.

I commented that I hadn’t seen an osprey this year yet, and seconds later one came into view.

I have to tell you that the osprey is one of my favourite birds; it is majestic and powerful, and how it migrates between Scotland and Africa is amazing to me.

The osprey is a wonder of engineering, the way it can fly, hover and dive, coming back up with a fish.

Then on the way home we were driving past a field of potatoes and I though what a marvel of nature this humble plant is.

I said so to Nunsy and I think she thought I had gone mad!

But a potato plant can do what man cannot do; it can take water and carbon dioxide, and using energy from sunlight make its own food (and ours) through the process of photosynthesis.

Have you ever sat down and thought about the process of photosynthesis?

It is absolutely amazing and mind blowing!

Only an infinitely intelligent Creator God could come up with photosynthesis; it could never evolve.

Photosynthesis requires multiple chemical pathways and electron transport chains, numerous proteins and other chemical compounds and various different cell structures.

For photosynthesis to occur these all need to be in place and all working; how could this process and other processes such as respiration evolve from nothing?

They are processes that only work in their entirety; remove one protein or cell structure and the whole process falls apart.

Ospreys and potatoes are both marvels of creation, created by God through Jesus (Colossians 1 v 16 and Hebrews 1 v 2).

In their own way they are both marvelous and amazing, both awesome, displaying the wonderful creative power of our Living and Loving God.

Yes, even the humble potato plant screams out that there is a God!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your wonderful creation and thank you that you created me”.

Colossians 1 v 16…..For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: and all things were created by him, and for him

DIG for Friday the 30th of May…..draw all judgement, not all men…..John 12 v 32

In John 12 v 32 Jesus says that if He were lifted up (a picture of His crucifixion) all men would be drawn unto Him.

That is not what I see in my everyday life to be honest; I see many men who have not been drawn to Jesus and who do not see Him as their Lord and Saviour.

That statement from Jesus, in my view, actually contradicts something else that He said.

He said that many people would go through the broad gate to destruction, and not enter into His rest and salvation via the narrow gate (Matthew 7 v 13 and 14).

So what does Jesus mean?

Well, if you look at the King James Version of the Word “men” in John 12 v 32 is in italics and that means that it was not in the original Greek but was added in by the translators.

If you remove “men” then the verse takes on a whole new meaning.

If we read the verses immediately before John 12 v 32 we see that Jesus is talking about judgement.

Jesus is talking about the judgement due on the earth and due on us for our sin.

When He was lifted up on that cross all judgement for sin was drawn onto Him, so that we would not have to go through that judgement.

He dealt with our sin on the cross; indeed He was made sin so that we might be made righteous (2 Corinthians 5 v 21).

Jesus paid for the sin of the whole world (1 John 2 v 2) and God does not even remember our sins and iniquities any more (Hebrews 10 v 17).

What good news!

He took the judgement so that we could be accepted, reconciled, forgiven and made righteous.

Thank you Jesus.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that all judgement was drawn onto Jesus on the cross and through that I am accepted, reconciled, forgiven and as a gift of grace through faith made righteous”.

John 12 v 32…..And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me

DIG for Thursday the 29th of May…..we can rejoice, even in the times of troubles…..Habakkuk 3 v 17 to 19

Life can through us all real curve balls every now and again; things can get really difficult.

Yet the Word tells us that we should rejoice at all times (Philippians 4 v 4 and 2 Thessalonians 5 v 16).

Evermore and at all times (as written in these verses) includes when not everything is going as planned, and I have to be honest and say it can be difficult to rejoice then.

However the Word says it can be done, God would not ask us to do this if it were not possible.

I take courage and comfort from the words of Habakkuk.

Things were not going well for Habakkuk, and that is really an understatement.

The harvest was pathetic, the fields were barren, the olive harvest had failed and there was no meat; things were bad!

Yet he says that he would rejoice in the Lord, he would take joy in the God of his salvation.

This is a model that should speak to us and show us how to behave as a believer.

We can rejoice in the Lord and take joy in the God of our salvation.

We can rejoice that we have been reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5 v 18 and 19).

We can rejoice that we have been forgiven through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

We can rejoice that through the finished work of Jesus we have been accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1 v 6).

We can rejoice that as a gift of grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ we have been made righteous (2 Corinthians 5 v 21).

We can rejoice that as a gift through our salvation we have been healed (1 Peter 2 v 24) and made prosperous (2 Corinthians 8 v 9).

Even in hard times Habakkuk could rejoice in the Lord and we can do the same.

No matter how hard life gets or how difficult it becomes we will still be reconciled, forgiven, accepted, righteous, healed and prosperous.

That is a truth we can rejoice in, that is the joy of our salvation.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that because of the finished work of Jesus I am forgiven, accepted, righteous, healed and prosperous”.

Habakkuk 3 v 17 to 19…..Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no more herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments

DIG for Wednesday the 28th of May…..we have many reasons to be of good cheer…..Matthew 14 v 27

Yesterday I wrote that we are to be of good cheer; that as believers we should be cheerful no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.

You may have been thinking “but you don’t know what I am going through Vic”, and that would be correct.

You may have thought “but I have nothing to be cheerful about”.

Well, my friend, this is just not the case and is a lie from the enemy that you have believed above God’s Word.

Jesus told people to be of good cheer on three separate occasions and gave them reasons as to why they could make that life style choice.

He told the man with palsy to be of good cheer because he had been forgiven of all his sins (Matthew 9 v 2).

He told His disciples in a sinking boat to be of good cheer because He was with them (Matthew 14 v 27).

He told His disciples on the night before the most difficult day they would have in their lives to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world and achieved the victory (John 16 v 33).

And you think there is nothing to be cheerful about.

Can you be of good cheer because Jesus has forgiven you of all your sin, He is always with you, and He has overcome the world (and because He is in you, then you are an overcomer too)?

To be of good cheer is a choice that you can and have to make.

We have so much to be thankful for and so much to be of good cheer about.

We are forgiven, He is with us and through Him we are overcomers.

Man, that is something to be of good cheer about!

These are three things to be thankful for.

If you cannot be of good cheer then there is something about forgiveness, His indwelling with in you and your ultimate victory through Him that you just do not understand.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I am forgiven, that you live in me and that through Your finished work I am an overcomer”.

Matthew 14 v 27…..But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid

DIG for Tuesday the 27th of May…..be of good cheer; Jesus expects this of us…..Matthew 14 v 27

There are times when I allow myself to get down and a bit low, like today for example when I had to go back to work after a ten-day holiday.

I was not very cheerful as I went out the door this morning, and I was thinking about that this evening as I was reading the Word.

I was taken back to part of the teaching at the weekend and reminded about the times that Jesus said to be of good cheer.

He told this to a man who was sick of the palsy (Matthew 9 v 2), to His disciples as they were in a sinking boat in a storm (Matthew 14 v 27), and also to His disciples on the night before He would be crucified (John 16 v 33).

These were three horrendous situations or predicaments, much worse than having to sit at a desk in a nice comfortable office for eight hours earning a decent wage!

These events show us that, as believers, we also should be of good cheer.

Jesus expected an ill man and men who thought they were about to die to be of good cheer.

I think Jesus expects this of us also.

Paul was also a man who was of good cheer, even in a ship where all hope was lost and death looked a certainty (Acts 27 v 25 and 36).

This is one of those life events that Paul called a light affliction (2 Corinthians 4 v 17); other light afflictions included being stoned, whipped, shipwrecked and jailed.

If the man with the palsy, the disciples on the brink of death and Paul could be of good cheer then we can too.

To be of good cheer is not a feeling, it is a choice and it is a choice we have to make for ourselves.

We can choose to be of good cheer or we can choose to be down, low and depressed.

We choose!

What will you choose today?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the many, many things that I can be thankful for today, and thank you that I can choose to be of good cheer”.

Matthew 14 v 27…..But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid

DIG for Monday the 26th of May…..this revelation made me want to jump up and punch the air…..John 1 v 17

I have been known to get very excited listening to sermons before, I have jumped out of my seat and shouted a couple of times in the past.

I want to do this at the conference the other day as Pastor Duane was explaining why Moses did not lead the people into the Promised Land and why Joshua achieved this instead.

This is a picture of law and grace, a picture of the old and new covenants.

Moses represents the old covenant and the law, while Joshua represents the new covenant and grace.

Did you know that Joshua is the Hebrew word that means Jesus?

Moses gave the law to the people, but grace (and truth) came in the form of Jesus Christ (John 1 v 17).

In a sense the new covenant and grace that was ushered in by Jesus’ finished work is our promised land; we are brought into this promised land as a gift of grace through faith in this finished work of Jesus.

The purpose of the law was (and still is) to show people their sin and tell them that they could never deal with that sin themselves but rather that they needed a Saviour.

The law could never bring people full reconciliation with God and full forgiveness from God; it could bring people to the realisation that they needed to move from their old life (Egypt) into new life (the promised land).

Moses (a picture of the law) brought people out of Egypt and up to the edge of the Promised Land, but he did not take them in.

Joshua, the new leader who took over from the old, took the people into the Promised Land and he is a picture of Jesus and of grace.

We live under the new covenant instead of the old because of the work of Jesus, not because of our own works or religious performance (Romans 6 v 14).

In the same way that we could never save ourselves through the law, Moses could not take the people into their Promised Land.

The people required a Joshua in the same way as we required Jesus!

This is such an awesome picture and I am still meditating it through, however I wanted to share my excitement with you tonight!

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ; thank you that I now live under grace and not under law”.

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

DIG for Sunday the 25th of May…..trying to make a big decision today; let peace be the umpire…..Colossians 3 v 15

We always have to make decisions as we go through life; some decisions are harder than others, with some being very difficult.

I recently made a huge decision to leave my secular job and move towards more time in the ministry.

To be honest I was not sure for a long time about what to do; in the words of a favourite old punk band on mine I had to decide “should I stay or should I go?”

I set out to seek the Lord in prayer, but was not positive about His answer.

I knew I should have to have peace about my decision as that is what I believe and teach; if you have peace about a decision it is probably the right choice for you.

The problem was that I did not have complete peace about either choice.

However, I had more peace about leaving than I had about staying.

So I decided to leave, I took the choice that had more peace in my heart.

At the conference today I received confirmation that I made the correct decision; we were shown in Scripture that we should take the path that gives most peace, as we normally will never have complete peace about most choices.

Paul advised the Colossians to let peace rule in their hearts (Colossians 3 v 15); the Greek word rule means to arbitrate and comes from the root word for umpire.

An umpire makes decisions in the sporting world, telling the players or teams of decisions that he has made; and once an umpire makes a decision the players have to go with that decision.

In this verse the heart means our thoughts and feelings, or our mind and what we think.

The umpire decides or rules what way a game should go; peace should decide the way we go when thinking about a decision.

Whichever choice gives you most peace should be the way you decide to go.

This is exactly what I did in my recent big decision, and now that I have had Scriptural confirmation it is the method I will use for other big decisions if I do not believe I have heard directly from the Lord.

Are you facing a big decision in your life today?

Are you not positive that you have heard from the Lord?

Let the peace of God rule in your heart; the choice with most peace is more than likely the choice that Father God wants you to make.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are interested in the choices that I make in my life and thank you that you want to guide and direct my path”

Colossians 3 v 15…..And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also are ye called in one body; and be ye thankful

DIG for Saturday the 24th of May…..the heavens and the skies do indeed declare His glory and His handiwork…..Psalm 19 v 1

At the conference this evening we were given a challenge (and encouragement) to declare the truth about creation, and to speak out against the traditions and doctrines of men.

Evolution and the Big Bang are spoken about as truths, and not as the theories that they are.

They are examples of doctrines of men as spoken of by Paul in his epistle to the Colossians (Colossians 2 v 8).

They are examples of traditions making the Word of God of none effect (Mark 7 v 13).

The stars, planets, galaxies, super nova, nebula (and all the other amazing structures in the universe) cry out that there is a God.

The order and beauty in the universe is too perfect to be here by random chance events that started out of nothing!

Only a fool would believe that all this wonder and beauty came about without the involvement of a loving Creator God (Psalm 14 v 1).

Take our own earth for example; just the right distance from the sun to give the right amount of energy to allow life to exist, just the right distance from the moon to allow the seas and oceans to function appropriately, just the right angle of tilt on its axis to keep the seasons in check, just the right amount of oxygen, carbon and other elements to allow life to flourish, just the right strength of bonds in the water molecule to allow it to behave differently from every other liquid on the earth; and I could go on and on!

Howe many “just right” statement do we need to see that there has to be a loving Creator God involved in this amazing world and universe.

God the Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ, created everything and continually holds everything together (Hebrews 1 v 2 and 3 and Colossians 1 v 16 and 17).

And yet the even more amazing truth is that God loved us so much that He came in the flesh and dwelt among us to save us, to bring us back into relationship and to bring us eternal and abundant life.

That is truly amazing!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the wonder of creation and for Jesus”.

Psalm 19 v 1…..The heavens declare the glory of God ; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork

DIG for Friday the 23rd of May…..be still and know that He is God…..Psalm 46 v 10

At the conference today the message and the worship both spoke about the need to be still in order to hear from God.

This is something that I know I do not do enough; I love music when I work and when I drive and it is very rare that I have any real time of silence.

I do recognise the need for silence however, as did the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 46.

Remember that Elijah did not hear God in the strong wind, in the earthquake or in the fire, he heard God in the still small voice.

I am trying to remember the last time that I sat still and quite for a long time, and I have to be honest and say it was not very recent.

How about you?

Are you like me; are you busy with life (and even ministry) and maybe missing what God is saying through that still small voice?

In order to hear the still small voice we need to quieten down, sit and actively listen to God.

I know that God speaks to me all the time, but at times I do not feel that.

This is because I am not listening; it is not because God is not speaking.

I found today quite a challenge in this area, with the lifestyles that we lead not conducive to times of stillness and quiet.

I plan to make more time available to sit and be quiet, and to listen to God and to hear from God.

Will you join me?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are speaking to me all the time, that you are interested in me and that you want me to listen”.

Psalm 46 v 10…..Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalter in the earth

DIG for Thursday the 22nd of May…..of course Jesus is God…..Colossians 1 v 17

I quite often read or hear debates about who Jesus was; was He simply a man or was He more?

There are many theologians who say there is nowhere in the Bible that actually says Jesus was God.

This is nonsense, Paul’s epistle to the Colossians clearly states that Jesus was God.

He writes that Jesus was before all things, or that He pre-existed everything (Colossians 1 v 17).

That sounds like God to me.

He also writes that all things consist through Jesus, or that Jesus holds all of creation together (Colossians 1 v 17).

That sounds like God to me.

A similar statement is given in Hebrews 1 v 1 to 3.

The Word is quite clearly telling us that Jesus was and is God.

I marvel at this truth; that God in the form of Jesus came to earth and lived amongst men (John 1 v 14).

The Lord of lords and King of kings came to earth to save man is a wonderful truth, and a unique truth in any faith system.

Only Christianity sees God reaching out to man, every other religion is man reaching out to God.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus and His amazing finished work”.

Colossians 1 v 17…..And he is before all things, and by him all things consist