DIG for Sunday the 20th of July…..cheer up; you have so much to be thankful for so cheer up…..Matthew 9 v 2

In my message today I spoke about Paul telling the crew of a sinking ship to ”cheer up”; and I went on to tell the fellowship that one thing they should, and could do in a storm, is to cheer up.

It sounds really silly to say this in a time of extreme hardship and concern, yet this is clearly what Paul said (Acts 27 v 22).

Paul could do this as he knew and understood a spiritual truth that would eclipse the physical facts; God had told him that he would reach Rome and He also told him that not a single person would die from the ship.

Even in our storm we can cheer up because we have been told some amazing spiritual truths that can make any storm pale into insignificance.

Jesus told the sick man to cheer up as all his sins had been forgiven (Matthew 9 v 2); all our sins have also been forgiven.

Jesus told His disciples in the sinking boat to cheer up as He was now with them (Matthew 14 v 27); through His Holy Spirit Jesus is now with us and in us.

Jesus told His disciples on the eve of the worst day of their lives to cheer up as He was a world overcomer (John 16 v 23); because we have His Spirit in us we are now world overcomers.

My friend, it does not matter what storm you are in today, you can cheer up.

You have been forgiven, you have the Living God dwelling within you, and because of that you are a world overcomer; that is surely more than enough to rejoice in and cheer yourself up.

If that is not enough you have been accepted by God (Ephesians 1 v 6), adopted by God (Ephesians 1 v 5), been reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5 v 18 and 19), been redeemed by God (Galatians 3 v 13) and been made righteous by God (2 Corinthians 5 v 21).

Now can you choose to cheer up?

The choice is yours.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can choose to cheer up because of what you have done for me and to me through the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

Matthew 9 v 2…..And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee


DIG for Saturday the 19th of July…..do you realise how important we are to this world…..Philippians 1 v 23 and 24

Paul talks in this passage of Scripture about wanting to go to be with the Lord but knowing that he needs to stay on earth for the present.

He wants to get to heaven, but knows he has a purpose on earth and needs to stay for the good of others.

In this case it was for the good of the church at Philippi.

My friend, do you know the same is true for you and me; it would be much better to be in heaven with Jesus however we have a purpose on earth and need to stay and fulfil that calling.

It is not arrogant to say that Christians are essential on this earth and we need to be here.

Jesus said we are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5 v 13).

Jesus said we are the light of the world (Matthew 5 v 14).

Without light there would be no life on earth; plants need light to produce sugars thorough photosynthesis and this is the basis of all food on earth.

Without salt all animals would die; we all need salt in our bodies to allow our nervous systems to pass electrical signals correctly for example.

Physical life is impossible without salt and light; and true spiritual life is impossible without Jesus.

And who will tell a needy world about Jesus if we do not?

We are essential on this earth.

We have a job to do.

We are ambassadors for Jesus (2 Corinthians 5 v 20) and we are here (or rather one of the reasons we are here) is to tell people about our Lord and Master.

The world needs you my friend; your family, friends, schoolmates or work colleagues need you.

You are salt and light to may people around you even if you do note realise it at the moment; to many people you may be the only exposure that they have to Jesus.

Shine my brothers and sisters and be the salt to this needy world.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have many purposes in this world, and one is to be salt and light”.

Philippians 1 v 23 and 24…..For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you

DIG for Friday the 18th of July….the ransom has been paid, we are now free…..Romans 3 v 24

I have been thinking about the word redeemed today.

I was given a thank you card after preaching at an event on Saturday night that used the word redeemed and I met the artist who actually made the card this morning in Costa.

We spoke about the card and that got my mind onto redeemed.

The root word for redeemed (and its other derivatives) is agorazo, which literally means to go to market and by implication to purchase.

When we read that we have been redeemed or that we have redemption it really means that we have been purchased or bought; that we have had a ransom paid for our freedom.

This is a wonderful concept; that we were once slaves to sin and death but have now been bought, had a ransom paid, so that we can live in freedom.

Once a person has been freed with a ransom they do not go back to their slavery or bondage.

The Word says that we have been redeemed (or purchased or ransomed) from the curse of the law (Galatians 3 v 13).

We should therefore not return to this and try to live by the law, we have been freed from this and now live under grace (Galatians 5 v 1 and Romans 6 v 14 and 15).

Through the finished work of Jesus Christ we have been redeemed; his blood has purchased us and we now have forgiveness (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

The ransom has been paid to free us form the slavery of sin and death and we are now “slaves” to forgiveness, righteousness, mercy, love and abundance.

We have the fullness of God and all His blessings dwelling within us because of the work of Jesus as a gift of grace.

We would be crazy to try and return to live under the law.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been redeemed through the finished work of Jesus Christ and the shedding of His blood”.

Romans 3 v 24…..Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus


DIG for Thursday the 17th of July…..He does not want our efforts, works or self-righteousness…..Exodus 20 v 25

Some of what we read in the Old Testament can be quite cryptic, take for example the account where God wanted an alter built with unworked stone (Exodus 20 v 25).

Why did God ask for this?

He asked for this as it was a picture (or type or shadow) of self-effort and self-righteousness; the very thing that God does not want from us.

God wanted an alter made from stone that He had created; he did not want anything that had been worked on my man.

He did not want man trying to improve upon His workmanship.

This is a picture of what the Lord wants from us.

He made us righteous as a gift of grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5 v 21).

He does not want us to try and be right before Him with our own works, efforts and self-righteousness.

He does not want us to think we have to improve our “religious performance” to be made more righteous.

This is like taking what God has done through Jesus and trying to make it better.

This is like saying Jesus has not done enough and I need to do more.

It is like asking God for forgiveness when we have already been forgiven through the shed blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

God has already forgiven us and does not want or need us to ask for forgiveness; we cannot improve on what He has done already through Jesus Christ.

I have a small piece of rock from a local hill called Benrinnes and it is just marvellous the way it is, I don’t think I could do anything to improve it.

In terms of my forgiveness and my righteousness there is nothing I can do to improve what God has done and made me through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

God wants us to build our life and Christian walk upon an understanding of what He has done and what He has made us; he does not want or need us trying to improve what He has already done with our own religious works and self-righteousness.

Enjoy what He has done and enjoy what He has made you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven and made righteous because of what you have already done through Jesus Christ”.

Exodus 20 v 25…..And if thou wilt make me an alter of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it

DIG for Wednesday the 16th of July…..if you want to reap it, you had better sow it…..Galatians 6 v 7

If you want to get a crop of tatties in your garden you would be stupid to sow barley seeds.

If you were a farmer wanting a crop of wheat you would be a nut job to sow oats.

There is a natural law that says you will reap what you sow, and there is the same law in the spiritual realm.

If we sow love we will reap love, and if we sow hatred we will reap hatred.

Paul wrote to the Galatians and told them that they would reap what they sowed (Galatians 6 v 7).

He told them not to be deceived or to be in error and think that this law would not work for them.

The law of sowing and reaping is a universal law that God has placed in this world and works for every single person.

I have had people say to me “Vic, I have no friends, what should I do?”

My reply always is “well, find some people and be friendly”.

If you want people to love you, go out and love them.

If you think people are being judgemental and rude to you, well my friend, you are more than likely being rude and judgemental yourself.

What you sow you will reap; that is a natural and spiritual law.

Take the realm of finance for an example; the law of sowing and reaping would say that if you need more finances or money, then give some away.

The world would say save as much as you can and cut down on your spending in order to have more money; but the way of the world is not the way of the Lord.

I know it sounds daft but there is nothing daft about the law of sowing and reaping, if you want more finances for your ministry for example go and give more money to another ministry.

The law of sowing and reaping works, I suggest that you give it a try.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the law of sowing and reaping, and thank you that I can participate in this in a good way right now”.

Galatians 6 v 7…..Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap

DIG for Tuesday the 15th of July…..never think that you know it all…..Proverbs 1 v 5

Learning about the Lord and gaining more understanding about Him and His ways is a life long process; be aware of any man who thinks he has learned everything.

I don’t know about you, but as I understand in a deeper way about Jesus it makes me even more eager to learn.

As we increase in understanding about Jesus and His finished work we will change and live more Godly lives (2 Peter 1 v 3) and this is a process that should continue until the day we die.

In order to move on in our walk with the Lord we must remain teachable; we must retain a willingness to be taught and if required change our views, opinions, beliefs and doctrines.

As a pastor and teacher I have to tell you that there is nothing as ugly as a Christian who cannot and will not be taught.

If you will not allow yourself to be taught you will not progress and change.

I do honestly feel that I am a good and anointed teacher, but friends I am happy to tell you that I love being taught; today for example I listened to two wonderful men of God give me some great teaching.

That in my opinion makes me wise!

A wise man will want to be taught and will become wiser and increase in learning (Proverbs 9 v 9).

The Christian walk was never meant to be a lone walk.

I agree that the Lord has given us the Holy Spirit to teach, guide and direct however He has also put in place teachers and pastors to instruct and guide (Ephesians 4 v 11 and 12)

The Lord has put in place pastors who will feed the flocks with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3 v 15).

We all of course need to work in partnership with the Holy Spirit as our guide, but we also need to retain a teachable mind-set and find pastors and teachers who can help us learn more and increase in wisdom.

I hope and pray that you have found teachers who are feeding you; I also hope and pray that you are listening, hearing and being taught.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the pastors and teachers that you have put in place to teach me more about Jesus and His finished work”.

Proverbs 1 v 5…..A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels

DIG for Monday the 14th of July…..the Lord is now working through us…..Ephesians 3 v 20

When Jesus left His disciples on earth He told them that He would always be with them, along with all power in heaven and earth (Matthew 28 v 18 to 20).

That power is now in you through His indwelling Holy Spirit and Jesus has given you the authority to yield it.

This verse says that God can do mighty, mighty things however the bit that many of us miss is that He can only do it through us.

God gave us the power and authority through our faith and trust in Jesus and now we are the ones who are to do the mighty works.

Jesus said we would do many mighty works; indeed He went so far as to say we would do greater works (John 14 v 12).

But if we do not lay hands on people and speak out healing we will not see mighty works.

If we do not go out and preach the Gospel we will not see the lost coming to the Lord.

If we do not speak out to our mountains they will not be moved (Mark 11 v 23).

God has put in place a system and we are an integral part of that system.

We carry the indwelling Holy Spirit with all the power in heaven and earth.

We were given the authority from Jesus to use this power for good.

We need to do our part or, and this may be hard to hear, we will limit the power of God on this earth (Psalm 78 v 41).

We are the “face of God” and the “hands of God” on this earth today.

Yes, we are not using our power, we are using His power, but we must yield it; we must speak it out and we must stretch out our hands.

In other words we must do our bit, as God has already done His bit through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not preaching law here, but I am encouraging us so that we move in power and authority out of a motive of love for God and love for our fellow man.

God loves us and gave us the power and authority, and our lost friends, family and neighbours need to see a demonstration of this power and authority.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the power and authority you have given me as a gift of grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ”.


Ephesians 3 v 20…..Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us

DIG for Sunday the 13th of July…..more rejoicing, even in the really bad times…..Habakkuk 3 v 17 and 18

I am carrying on in this DIG with the same theme as yesterday, that is rejoicing.

I said it was a choice that we make either to rejoice or not, and it should not be dependant upon our circumstances or our emotions.

I was drawn to read the end of Habakkuk this evening and greatly encouraged there by the attitude of the writer of this book.

Habakkuk saw some horrendous things and the conditions we see near the end of the book are awful.

There was no harvest of fruit or olives, the fields were bare, the flocks were not flourishing and on and on it goes (Habakkuk 3 v 17).

The biggest disaster I can see here is that there were no grapes so there would have been no wine!

Joking apart, in the farming society that this book was set these conditions were disastrous.

Yet he still chose to rejoice in the Lord, to find joy in the God of his salvation (Habakkuk 3 v 18).

Yesterday I said if Paul could choose to rejoice then so could we, today I say if Habakkuk could choose to rejoice then so could we.

Even in the really bad times we have lots to rejoice in.

We can rejoice in the Lord that we have been forgiven for all our sin through the shed blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

We can rejoice in the Lord that we have been made righteous in His eyes (2 Corinthians 5 v 21).

We can rejoice in the Lord that we are accepted in the beloved and been adopted as sons into God’s family (Ephesians 1 v 5 and 6).

We may be going through bad times (and we all do) but we can all rejoice in our forgiveness, righteousness, acceptance and adoption.

Because of these amazing truths we can all make the choice to be cheerful and calmly happy even in the hardest of times; it is a choice.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for my forgiveness, righteousness, acceptance and adoption and because of that I choose to rejoice right now”.

Habakkuk 3 v 17 and 18…..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 herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation

DIG for Saturday the 12th of July…..even when you don’t want to you can rejoice…..1 Thessalonians 5 v 16

Paul sometimes wrote in a rather difficult style that can be hard to understand, but he didn’t write like this all the time.

Take the end of his first epistle to the Thessalonians for example.

Rejoice evermore.

That by any definition is a simple piece of writing.

Be cheerful or calmly happy at all times, or literally “every when”.

That is easy to understand but not so easy to implement, but my friends it can be done.

You see the act of rejoicing is a choice and it is not dependant upon our circumstances.

Paul was a man who acted out this verse, yet he was a man who was under extreme persecution and pressure.

In the depths of prison Paul chose to rejoice and sing praises to God (Acts 16 v 25).

In a storm at sea Paul chose to be of good cheer (Acts 27 v 22 and 25)

If Paul could live out his verse then we can.

What a lot of us do not realise is that we can control our emotions; most of us let the opposite happen and allow our emotions to control us.

No my friends, no matter what is going on in our lives we can CHOOSE to be calmly happy and cheerful.

If Paul could do it with his “light afflictions” I would suggest that we could do the same with our even lighter ones.

My friends, storms, affliction, temptations and trials will come our way, but even through these we can make a choice to be cheerful and calmly happy.

If this were not so God would have been cruel and unfair to put it in His Word.

God is not cruel and unfair, so we all can choose to rejoice at all times and under all circumstances.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can choose to rejoice, and thank you Father that I do that right now”.

1 Thessalonians 5 v 16…..Rejoice evermore

DIG for Friday the 11th of July…..the flow of forgiveness starts from God…..Ephesians 4 v 32

I preached at an event recently and spoke about forgiveness more than I meant to, however I really felt that the Lord led me into that subject.

Forgiveness, or the truth that we have already been forgiven by God for everything, is a truth that too few Christians believe.

Many believers today are striving to achieve forgiveness from God or are continually asking for forgiveness.

This is not necessary, as we have already been forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

Yet many fellow believers (and quite a few of them made their feelings known to me after I preached) still think that we have to ask for forgiveness and also that we will not be forgiven if we do not forgive others first.

Matthew 6 v 14 and 15 seems to say this actually and be in contradiction to new covenant scriptures.

But this passage of Matthew is not meant to be taken literally; it is Jesus “raising the bar” of the law and pointing out our need for a Saviour.

If this was literal then we should see a lot of one eyed and one handed Christians, but no believer ever takes those sections literally.

No, we have already been forgiven and we can forgive others because of that.

The flow of forgiveness starts with the Lord; He forgave us so we can forgive others (Ephesians 4 v 32).

New covenant, post cross scriptures clearly points to the truth that we have already been forgiven and that we can forgive others because of this truth.

Do not let any man tell you otherwise!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ I have already been forgiven for all my sin”.

Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you