DIG for Sunday the 31st of May…..the Lord is good, end of…..Psalm 100 v 5

I often wonder if we really know the meaning of the word “good”.

If you’ve been in church for any length of time you will have heard, quite rightly, that God is good.

Yet, in this same time you will probably have been told that tests and trials, illness and hardships are sent by God to “help” us get better.

You will probably also have heard about God sending illness or disease (thorn in the flesh) to keep the Apostle Paul humble.

Even at the start of my Christian walk this did not sound right to me.

What part of sending illness and disease makes God good?

I now understand the Scriptures better and know that God does not send illness and disease; Jesus never did and as He is an express image of the Father we can say God does not either.

Illness and disease are not good, and are not from God; even in the Old Testament when they did come from God they were always a curse (Deuteronomy 28).

In the Old Testament God rained fire down on unbelievers, but when the disciples asked Jesus to do this again He replied that this was not the way to do things anymore.

God is good, and can only do good (James 1 v 17).

He only wants the best for you (John 10 v 10 and 3 John 2).

To be honest the meaning of the word “good” is not hard to understand, what we don’t understand is the true nature of God!

God is good, and that is the end of the argument.

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord that you are good and that you only want the best for me”.

Psalm 100 v 5…..For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations

DIG for Saturday the 30th of May…..hunger or repentance, the father was not concerned what brought him back…..Luke 15 v 20

There was a very interesting question on Facebook this morning; did the prodigal son return to his father because he was hungry or because he was repentant over his sin and his behaviour?

This is a great question and one that should bring about lots of answers and maybe some debate, but it is not the most important point in this account.

The important thing is the reaction of the father.

When the son returns we do not see the father asking why he returned, there is no discussion about this.

When the father sees his son returning (because he was looking out for him all the time) he is filled with compassion for him and is not interested in why he returned, he is just overjoyed that he has returned.

He runs to him, hugs him with violence and kisses him (Luke 15 v 20).

The son does start to give his little speech that he has prepared but the father ignores this and just gets the party started (Luke 15 v 21 to 23).

The father is not interested in the son grovelling and saying sorry, trying to get back into his good books, he is simply overjoyed that his son is back in the family.

The same is true for our Heavenly Father, as this account of course is a picture of Father God.

When we come to him for the first time or when we come back to Him He is simply overjoyed that we have returned; He then gives us His best in terms of all that Jesus bought for us on the cross (John 10 v 10, 3 John 2 and 2 Corinthians 8 v 9)

We do not have to scrape and grovel pleading for forgiveness; yes, we can say sorry but that is for our benefit not for God.

We have already been forgiven for all the sin, stupidity and nonsense in our lives through the shed blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

I’m not saying that we should not feel sorrow or feel repentant, however we do not need to ask God for forgiveness; He does not want it and he does not need it because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

We may come to God for many different reasons, but every single one of us has been (or will be) accepted by Him into His family (Ephesians 1 v 5).

We simply had to make the decision to come to him, like the prodigal son who simply had to arise and go.

This account is a wonderful picture of the acceptance and inclusiveness of Father God through Jesus Christ.

His arms are always out wide, His door is always open, His eyes are looking out for us, and His acceptance is always there.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you love me, are looking out for me and always want the best for me”.

Luke 15 v 20…..And he arose, and cam to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him

DIG for Friday the 29th of May…..the written Word, a “better” way to believe….John 20 v 29

Do you know that as a believer you are more blessed than the disciples?

Yes, you are more blessed than them because you did not see Jesus in the flesh!

What an amazing statement that is, yet I can say it as it is a Biblical truth spoken out by Jesus (John 20 v 29).

Thomas would only believe if he saw Jesus with his own eyes.

In other words Thomas had to have an experience, yet Jesus said those who believed without seeing (or without an experience) were blessed.

Many of us today search and chase for experiences thinking that this will improve our walk with the Lord; going to meeting after meeting looking for an experience is what counts for many believers.

Jesus said this is not the way to be blessed; faith through His Word should be the way.

Now there is nothing wrong with experiences (a number of people have taken me up wrong on this in the past) but it is not the primary way that we should increase the faith levels that we operate under.

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God is what the Bible says (Romans 10 v 17).

The Word of God is the agent for permanent change in our lives; it is through understanding the Word and renewing our mind that transformation comes (Romans 12 v 2).

We are blessed because we have His Word, we are not blessed because we see feathers, gold dust or feel a shiver up our spine!

We are blessed through believing His Word rather than try to believe through experiences.

We have the written Word so that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 20 v 31).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your written Word and thank you that this is the agent for change in my life”.

John 20 v 29…..Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed

DIG for Thursday the 28th of May…..Jesus was not a poor man…..John 19 v 23

I have written about this topic before but was reminded about it when reading John 19 this morning.

Jesus is predominantly portrayed as a poor man by the church, but I think the Scriptures point to the opposite.

Let me ask you a question; if Jesus was poor why did the soldiers cast lots for His clothes?

Poor people do not have clothes that soldiers would gamble for, after not wanting to rip them up; His clothes must have been of good quality (John 19 v 23).

Poor people do not have a treasurer working with and for them.

Poor people do not wander around with and provide for an entourage of at least twelve followers.

Jesus was not poor; His parents were not poor people (just remember what they were given by the magi before they were forced to leave for Egypt).

Jesus was a rich man; I recently read a book about Jesus that spoke of the millionaire from Nazareth.

On the cross He lost everything and became poor so that we might live in prosperity and abundance (2 Corinthians 8 v 9).

Check out the Greek words in this verse for yourself, they are clearly talking about money when speaking of poverty and riches.

Prosperity and abundance are part of the “sozo” package that Jesus died to purchase for you (John 10 v 10 and 3 John 2).

Don’t buy into the lie of the devil and the religious nonsense that says Jesus was poor and as a result you should also be poor.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and that through this I can live in prosperity and abundance”.

John 19 v 23…..Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout

DIG for Wednesday the 27th of May….if Jesus is not King in our lives we will have problems…..John 19 v 15

Reading the Word this morning I was stopped in my tracks by John 19 v 15.

This is the passage of Scripture running up to the crucifixion of Jesus and really shows the religious powers of the day at their worst.

“We have no king but Caesar” was their cry, and this highlighted to me their main problem and one of the problems with the church today; they do not recognise Jesus as King.

Many people profess to know and love Jesus, yet do not recognise Him as King or recognise His authority in many areas of their lives.

We look to governments, peers, parents and other authority structures to govern our lives, when the authority of Jesus should be paramount.

The Jews of Jesus’ day did not recognise Him for their own selfish aims; even refusing to recognise Him through His many signs and wonder (the raising of Lazarus from the dead for example).

The same is true today, if people recognised Jesus as King (and therefore have Lordship over their lives) they would have to change their lifestyles, and many people (including some in church) do not want to do that.

Yes, Jesus is our friend and brother as described in the Word, but He is also Lord and King and needs to be recognised as so.

The bottom line is that we need to get to grips with what is the most important thing in our lives, is it Jesus or is it things of the world.

If it is things of the world i.e. money, power, status, career etc. then Jesus is not truly King.

Recognise Jesus as King this morning, make Him truly Lord in your life.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ, and thank you that He is King and Lord”.

John 19 v 15…..But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar

DIG for Tuesday the 26th of May…..be still and know that He is God…..Psalm 46 v 10

We all live busy lives, always occupied, always on the go.

Let me ask you a question tonight, and it is a question I also ask myself.

When was the last time you sat in real peace and quiet and sat still?

If you are like me these times of sitting still in the quiet are very rare; the times I do sit I normally have music on or the radio, or I am reading something.

It is not often that I sit still and in complete silence, but this is something that we should all be doing.

The Psalmist recommends that we do this in order to know God.

The word “still” does not just mean to sit and not move; it means to contemplate, to meditate, and to reflect.

It means to take time to consider God and His goodness and all that He has done for us.

It also means to listen; sitting in a reflective and meditative state will help us hear from God.

1 Kings 19 v 12 says God speaks to us in the “still, small voice”.

In order to hear that voice we must be still and we must be listening.

If we sit and if we listen then we will hear; this is a promise when Jesus said that His sheep would hear His voice (John 10 v 27).

Take some time out soon to sit and listen, I plan to do this very thing!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you speak to every single one of us, and I thank you that you speak to me”.

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

DIG for Monday the 25th of May…..awake to righteousness and sin not…..1 Corinthians 15 v 34

We have a running joke in our house about changes in character associated with knowing that you have been made righteous.

When I understood and believed that I was righteous it had a profound change in what I thought and did; it changed my character and actions in a significant way.

When I did and said things I hadn’t before my family would say, “Oh yes, he’s righteous”.

This morning our daughter was up really early (she does not normally do this) so I commented, “Oh, did she realise she is righteous?”

This may be a running joke in our house but it is also the truth!

We read in the Word that in order to sin less (or change your character and actions) you must realise that you are righteous (1 Corinthians 15 v 34).

(Please note – I am reading this in the King James Version, there are some versions that miss out the “and sin not” part).

Understanding this truth, or renewing your mind to this truth will see you being transformed (Romans 12 v 2).

The key to positive change in our lives is to understand who we are in Christ and what we have through His finished work.

The key is not to try and strive and work for change.

We are transformed (or changed) by the renewing of our mind (by understanding who we are and what we have).

Grace and not law (being told to do this or that, and stop doing this and that) is what you require for change in your life.

Grace equals the Gospel which equals Jesus; it is an understanding of the Gospel, the finished work of Jesus Christ, that will bring positive change in your life.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word, and for the truths of the finished work of Jesus Christ held within”.

1 Corinthians 15 v 34…..Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame