DIG for Friday the 28th of August…..we do not need to purchase our armour…..Ephesians 6 v 11

Before a medieval knight went into battle he would get his knave to help him put on his armour.

This would have been armour that he bought with his own money; even when a knight was in the army fighting for the king he would have had to supply all his own armour himself.

It is not like that for those of us in the Kingdom.

We are supplied with our armour; we do not need to use our own resources gathered through our own efforts and performance to equip ourselves.

The armour we have is the armour of God supplied by God through the work of Jesus (Ephesians 11 v 6).

For example we have His truth, His righteousness and His gospel of peace.

He has prepared this armour so that we can put it on and stand against the enemy.

We also need to put on this armour ourselves.

Our armour is all to do with how we think and what we believe, we have to renew our minds to the truths that we have this armour, thus putting it on.

We can have people help us in this process of understanding truth, for example pastors and teachers; however we have to renew our own minds.

We have to put on the armour of God; armour is no use to you in a battle if it is sitting back nice and polished in your castle!

Get into the Word, renew your mind to the truth and put on your armour this morning.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word, and thank you for the truths held within about peace, righteousness and truth”.

Ephesians 6 v 11…..Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil

DIG for Thursday the 27th of August…..we have so much more than just salvation…..Ephesians 6 v 11

I heard a great message at church today based around the armour of God from Ephesians chapter 6 and it has inspired me to take a look at this passage in greater detail than I have done before.

The first thing I noticed when reading this passage again this evening is that it talks about the whole armour of God.

Many Christians seem to settle for salvation and think that this is all they get from God.

Salvation is of course an amazing gift, however we received so much more from God when we were born again.

The helmet of salvation is wonderful, however it is not the only part of armour that we have at our disposal.

We need to recognise, believe and understand that Jesus provided so much more for us than salvation.

This passage talks about truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Word.

The helmet of salvation is only one part of the armour of God, and salvation is only one part of what we receive as a gift of grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

We should thank the Lord for the gift of salvation, but we have so much more to thank Him for.

We need to understand, believe and speak out who we are in Christ and what we have in Christ; we need to understand all that we have in Him and through Him.

When we do that we will be putting on the full armour of God and then be able to stand.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the whole armour that you have made available for us, help me to recognise and understand about all this armour”.

Ephesians 6 v 11…..Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil

DIG for Wednesday the 26th of August…..look into the Word not into a mirror…..James 1 v 25

I’ve been delving into the Epistle of James for a week or so now, quite often I have a “season” where I read just the one book or passage of Scripture.

I have been preaching recently about not looking at our body and soul (mind, will and emotions) as our true identity, we need to look at our spirit to see who and what we really are.

This is confirmed in James 1 v 23 to 25.

When we look into a mirror we see our reflection, but not who we really are (James 1 v 23 and 24).

In order to see who we really are we need to look into the Word of God, or the perfect law of liberty (James 1 v 25).

When we look into the Word we see who we are in Christ and what we have through Christ, in other words who and what we are in our spirit.

The Word tells us that we are righteous, even if we look in the mirror and see a person who sins.

The Word tells us we are healed, even if we look in the mirror and see someone who is ill and in pain.

These are two perfect examples of who we are in Christ and what we have through Christ.

We are righteous and we are healed, our “job” now is to believe this and therefore renew our mind to see transformation in our soul and body.

If we think and speak out that we are righteous and healed we are more likely to see fruit in these areas.

We must stop thinking our identity is in what we see in our body and think in our head, the true you is your born again spirit.

Delve into the Word and let it reveal the true you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can understand my true identity through your Word”.

James 1 v 25…..But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed

DIG for Tuesday the 25th of August…..what an amazing Creator God…..Hebrews 1 v 2

I have been invited to give a lecture about whisky nosing at a science festival later this month, and part of the lecture is involved in explaining the perception of smell.

So I spent some time today in college researching the biochemistry behind the sense of smell.

I am now sitting here in awe and wonder at how amazing God is.

The “simple” act of smelling something involves the most wonderful and complex physiology and biochemical reactions involving enzymes, receptors, proteins, nerve cells and the brain.

The most amazing thing that I have learned this morning though is that even new and completely artificial compounds, devised and invented by man, can be recognised and differentiated by the sense of smell.

My initial reaction was that there was not enough time (even if the earth is as old as scientists tell us) for this to evolve, and also that it was impossible to evolve the ability to smell compounds that did not yet exist.

Then came the wonder and awe about our Creator God.

Through Jesus, God created all things, including how the sense of smell operates (Hebrews 1 v 2 and Colossians 1 v 16 and 17).

His Creation displays His Splendour and His Majesty.

His Creation cries out that He is here.

After seeing how the sense of smell works only a fool would say that there is no God.

Next time you smell a rose, a perfume or dare I say it, a glass of whisky, give thanks to the Lord God for His wonderful Creation.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are the wonderful Creator, and thank you that you created me”.

Hebrews 1 v 2…..Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds

DIG for Monday the 24th of August……these things I will tell you all the time…..Titus 3 v 7

To affirm constantly, this was the advice given to Titus by Paul.

To affirm constantly means to confirm thoroughly or to explain well, and this is great advice for a pastor and teacher.

But what is Paul asking Titus to affirm constantly?

He is talking about being justified by grace through faith, and that it is the righteousness and performance of Jesus that means man can be saved.

This is exactly what Paul has just written to Titus.

Jesus appeared to man; He became flesh and dwelt among us (Titus 3 v 4 and John 1 v 14).

Man is saved not by his own works, but through the work of Jesus (Titus 3 v 5 and 6).

We are justified (declared innocent and made righteous) as a gift of grace (Titus 3 v 7).

We are forgiven and reconciled, so that the opportunity is given for salvation and righteousness, through the work of Jesus and nothing to do with our performance.

Like any gift we need to accept it to receive the benefit; all the great things that we are through Christ and in Christ is received by faith through grace.

These are truths that we need to hear again and again and again, and these are truths that I will keep speaking out as a teacher and pastor.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been justified as a gift of grace through faith”.

Titus 3 v 7…..That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life

DIG for Sunday the 23rd of August…..if it cannot be tamed then keep it caged…..James 3 v 8

“If you’ve not got anything good to say don’t say anything at all”, seemed to be one of my Mum’s favourite expressions as I was growing up.

Reading the Epistle of James this morning I was reminded that this is still a good policy to follow.

We all know that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18 v 21), so if we cannot speak life over a situation we should say nothing, as anything else would be speaking death.

The words we speak are very important, not only to ourselves but to those around us.

James talks of the tongue, or the words we speak, as ruling our lives.

As a bridle can control a horse, and as a rudder can control a ship, our tongue (or what we say) can control us.

We can bless our life or curse our life just by what we say; we can also bless or curse others around us.

Next time you start to say something about a person think very carefully with regards to what is about to come out of your mouth.

Will it be a blessing or a curse?

Our tongue is powerful, like an untamed animal James says.

If I was anywhere near an untamed animal, say a lion or tiger for example, I would rather it stay in its cage.

Next time you are about to speak over the life of a person, maybe you should keep your tongue in its “cage”.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that we have the power to bless through our spoken words, help me be a blessing today”.

James 3 v 8…..But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison

DIG for Saturday the 22nd of August……walk, stand, sit; just be careful where…..Psalm 1 v 3

Thanks to Nunsy for the DIG today……

The first Psalm gives a great overview of the choice every human will make.

There are so many voices out there in the world, all vying for our attention, all desiring to influence us; some good, some not so good.

Of course, the Lord’s is one of those voices. He is very desirous that we hear His voice, because His is the only voice that will bring forth fruit, blessing and prosperity. Psalm 1:3

But Kingdom fruit does not happen automatically. No fruit does. Fruit comes when something has been planted in one place long enough to become established, having drawn good nutrient necessary for growth, and reached the maturity required.

The Psalmist reveals four things important to successful fruitful life. He says ‘be careful where you walk, be careful where you stand, be careful where you sit, be careful what you delight in.’

Be careful where you walk…

Blessed is the man who walketh not in the council of the ungodly (Psalm 1 v 1)

How about…

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5 v 25)

Be careful where you stand…

Nor standeth in the way of sinners (Psalm 1 v 1)

How about…

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5 v 1)

Be careful where you sit…

Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1 v 1)

How about…

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2 v 6)

Be careful what you delight in…

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night (Psalm 1 v 2)

There is nothing that will be of greater good to us than to delight in the Word of God day and night.

It keeps us planted in a good place.

It produces fruit, life and prosperity.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can delight in, and meditate on Your Word day and night, and that You promise that it will bring forth fruit in my life”.

Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper

DIG for Friday the 21st of August…..this is why we have two ears and one mouth…..James 1 v 19

The Epistle of James is a wonderful piece of Scripture full of great advice for the believer.

I know some people question if it should be in the Bible (Luther included) but I really like reading it.

Some of it sounds like good common sense as well as Biblical truth, take James 1 v 19 for example.

It tells us to be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to anger.

Sometimes when we hear a person speak we are too eager in our response, speaking out before we really understand what the person is saying.

Sometimes we react in a negative and angry way having misunderstood what is being said.

Can you identify with that? I know I can!

I heard a preacher talking about this verse one time saying we need to listen more than speaking; that is why we have two ears and one mouth he said.

I found that quite funny, but it is an important truth.

A lot of the time we do not listen enough, we do not understand, before we respond.

Taking time out before we speak will leave time to better understanding and will lead, I believe, to less wrath and anger.

So next time that you are ready with a response (especially before the other person has stopped talking), take some time to listen and be slow to speak; this may result in you being slow to wrath.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your council and your advice that we can receive freely from your Word”

James 1 v 19…..Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath

DIG for Thursday the 20th of August…..everyone, yes everyone, has already been forgiven…..Colossians 2 v 13

One of the major mistakes in the church today is trying to receive forgiveness and asking God for forgiveness.

This is silly to do as we have already been forgiven.

We are told in the Word that we have been forgiven (past tense) for all trespasses (Colossians 2 v 13).

We are told in the Word that we have redemption and forgiveness through the blood of Jesus (Colossians 1 v 14).

We are told in the Word that we have redemption and forgiveness as a gift of grace through the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7).

As an individual you need to believe what the Word says and not what another man tells you.

You do not need to ask for forgiveness from God, you have already been forgiven.

Jesus has dealt with ALL sin (including yours) and you have been reconciled and forgiven.

Indeed everyone has been forgiven.

So am I saying everyone has been saved?

No that is not what I am saying, as a man needs to choose to receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour and therefore receive salvation.

Forgiveness and reconciliation means that people now have the opportunity to choose salvation.

You, and everyone, have already been forgiven.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have already been forgiven”.

Colossians 2 v 13…..And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses

DIG for Wednesday the 19th of August…..our true part is of the spirit not of the flesh…..Romans 8 v 1

Part 2 from Sean on Romans 8 v 1 today…….

In a previous DIG (Sunday 16th August) I actually discussed the first half of Romans 8 v 1.

The second part of this verse seems to say that we have to be seen to be doing things for God; saying if we don’t follow this remit we do not stay in Christ.

It talks about walking not after the flesh but after the spirit.

This was indeed sound like a prescription for doing things, but let’s have a look more deeply at the translation.

The key word “after is usually the Greek word “meta”, however in this case it is the word “kata”, and means to be down from, though out, according to or towards.

The Greek word for walk here means to deport oneself.

So this could be an alternate translation for you; therefore there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who deport themselves not down from, towards or according to the flesh, but down from, towards or according to the Spirit.

In other words our true deportment is from the Spirit and not from the flesh.

As a regular reader you should know that we are made up of three parts, that is spirit, soul and body.

Though we are dead to the flesh it still acts and behaves as it did before we were saved.

We are new creatures in our born again spirit and our soul and body has to be trained, starting to learn and gain knowledge that is in our spirit (this is called renewing your mind).

Our true deportment is that of the Spirit, it is about the connection given to us by Jesus, with the rest of Romans 8 going on to explain this.

It is not about doing.

As you come to understand and live out the truths of who you are in Christ (that you are righteous and deeply loved to name but two) then you will start living out of the spirit without really thinking about it.

So realise that your true self is your spirit and your deportment is in Him and not based on what you do but based on what Jesus has already done.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that through Jesus the true me is my born again spirit, and that today I will walk out of that and not out of my flesh”.

Romans 8 v 1…..There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit