DIG for Saturday the 28th of November…..do you also believe in Jesus…..John 14 v 1

This afternoon I was led to John 14 looking for some Scriptures to use as I was preparing for a funeral.

The start of John 14 is a passage of great comfort to the believer; it is also a call to live a life of peace in the assurances we have from the Lord.

We can choose to let our heart not be troubled.

We can do this if we believe in God and also believe in Jesus.

This is an important point, as believing in God is not the same as believing in Jesus.

Many people say the most important question in life is, “Do you believe in God?”

To be honest that is not the most important, far more important is, “Do you believe in Jesus?”

The Word tells us that even the demons believe in God, that kind of “faith” will not save you.

Salvation and an eternity with God will come through faith in and trust in Jesus (Romans 19 v 9).

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and He is the only way to the Father (John 14 v 6).

Whether you believe in the existence of God is not important in an eternal context.

The important point with regards to eternity is what you believe about Jesus.

So the next time you are talking about the existence or not of God with someone, make sure you get the conversation around to Jesus.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that He is the way to a secure eternity”.

John 14 v 1…..Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me

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DIG for Friday the 27th of November…..are you one of the faithful…..Colossians 1 v 2

If you study the Word of God you may find the introductions to Paul’s letters as very interesting.

For example in the epistle to the Colossians he seems to differentiate between two types of people receiving the letter.

In verse 2 he talks to the saints and to the faithful brethren, making a point that not all saints are faithful (Colossians 1 v 2).

I suppose you could argue that he is saying all believers are saints and faithful brethren, but I don’t think so, given what we see from many brothers and sisters in the church.

Faithful in this context means doing things properly, being faithful and being fully persuaded in what God has done.

That just does not seem to be the case a lot of the time, so I think Paul is saying there are two types of believers.

You can be a saint (born again) and not be faithful; not faithful to a fellowship, not faithful to other brothers and sisters in Christ, not faithful to leaders.

Faithfulness is a characteristic that should be displayed in a saint, but obviously it is not always seen given what Paul writes.

Are you faithful?

Faithfulness is like integrity; I believe God would rather see faithfulness and integrity in us rather than skills and expertise.

Without faithfulness and integrity we are not useable in the Kingdom.

As a pastor I would rather see faithfulness than skills, without faithfulness I cannot use people in the church.

Faithfulness, faithfulness, faithfulness, that is what is required in the Kingdom.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus was the ultimate example of faithfulness, help me to see this as the way to live my life”.

Colossians 1 v 2…..To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

DIG for Thursday the 26th of November…..are you mad…..Galatians 3 v 1

I have been preparing for the message on Sunday today and have been really struck (once again) at how strong the message is from Paul warning the Galatian church about legalism.

In this verse he says to the Galatians, “Are you nuts?’”

Well, that is my paraphrase of this statement (Galatians 3 v 1).

In my translation they are accused of foolishness, in another version he asks, “Are you people of Galatia mad?”

Paul has given them the true gospel, the message of grace, the doctrine of the sufficiency of Christ, and he is amazed that they are being drawn away to something else.

Something else in addition to Jesus is not the gospel, it is not even a gospel, it is something completely different (Galatians 1 v 6 and 7).

When people try and add to what Jesus has done they are mad.

When people try to become more righteous through works of self-effort and religious performance they are mad.

These might sound like strong words (and they are) but they are not mine; they are what Paul was saying to the Galatians in the Word of God and therefore what God, through Paul, is saying to us today.

Putting trust in anything other than faith in Jesus is not only unbiblical and doctrinally wrong; it is just plain stupidity!

Don’t be stupid tonight, put your trust fully in Jesus and nothing else, no works or deeds or religious performance is required to be righteous, accepted and blessed by God.

You started on this Christian walk through faith so continue in the same way (Colossians 2 v 6).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that His work, as a gift of grace through faith, is enough”.

Galatians 3 v 1…..O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

DIG for Wednesday the 25th of November…..this is the end of religion…..John 2 v 6

There is yet another picture that we can see from the miracle of water into wine and I’ve saved this one for last, as it is my favourite.

When Jesus turned the water into wine He used the special waterpots that the Jews used for their ritual cleansing.

This cleansing was part of their “rules and regulations” or part of their religion.

In performing this miracle Jesus actually desecrated the waterpots making them unusable for the religious ceremonies that the Jews were required to do.

In a sense Jesus was saying, “You will not need these waterpots any more, you will not need this religion any more, I am here”.

Jesus came to deal with all sin and He indeed paid for all sin on the cross (1 John 2 v 2).

Under the old covenant people had to cleanse themselves through rituals and regulations of the law, under the new covenant we have already been cleansed through the shed blood of Jesus.

Because of the finished work of Jesus Christ man no longer needs religion; that is what He is saying here by desecrating the waterpots.

Jesus is enough.

Religion and religious performance with all the rituals and regulations are no longer required.

Jesus did not come to start a new religion as many think; He came to destroy religion.

True Christianity is a relationship not a religion.

True Christianity as all about Jesus and Jesus is enough.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that I now live under the new covenant and grace”.

John 2 v 6…..And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying in the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece

DIG for Tuesday the 24th of November…..the second was so much better than the first…..John 2 v 10

In the DIG yesterday I used the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine as a picture of His wonderful and bountiful provision.

This same miracle is also a picture of something else, of the ushering in of the next covenant.

Jesus came to bring in the new covenant, a replacement for the old covenant, the second coming to replace the first.

The wine that Jesus used was of much better quality than that which had just been finished.

He replaced an inferior product for a better one when talking about wine.

He did the same with covenants, He ushered in a new one to replace the old (Hebrews 8 v 13).

The old covenant could never make a man perfect, it could never bring us into perfect relationship with God (Hebrews 10 v 1).

Jesus could do this, His finished work, ushering in the new covenant, brought forgiveness and reconciliation.

Moses gave the old covenant but the new covenant came in the form of Jesus (John 1 v 17).

The new covenant is “better” in that through the finished work of Jesus we can be saved and made righteous and brought into perfect relationship with God.

The second was so much better than the first, for the wine in Jesus’ first miracle and also in covenants.

We now live under the new covenant of grace and are not under the law or the old covenant; it has waxed away as far as we are concerned.

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you that I now live under the new covenant”.

John 2 v 10…..And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now

DIG for Monday the 23rd of November…..a picture of His abundance…..John 2 v 10

One of my favourite miracles of Jesus is His first one in the gospel of John, where He turns the water into wine.

Don’t let people tell you that He made unfermented grape juice, He made wine (and lots of it) and he made good wine (John 2 v 10).

This miracle is a picture of His bountiful and abundant provision.

Jesus did not turn a few litres of water into wine, He made about six hundred litres.

Jesus did not make any old wine, He made really good wine, and in fact He made the best.

Jesus provided more wine for that wedding than was required and of a better quality than was needed, He over provided in a sense.

And it is like that with what He has provided for us.

We already have all we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1 v 3).

He came to bring us life (God’s wonderful kind of life) and brought us this in abundance (John 10 v 10).

He wants us all to live in health and prosperity and has made a way for us to receive this (3 John 2).

Jesus lost His life to provide a life of health and prosperity for us.

Grab what Jesus has provided for you this evening and enjoy it like someone would enjoy a fine wine.

Jesus wants you to have the best and He has provided the best for you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Jesus for your bountiful provision, and thank you that you made a way for me to life in health and abundance”.

John 2 v 10…..And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now

DIG for Sunday the 22nd of November…..praise Him and thank Him, for He is worthy…..Psalm 117

Praise changes things; this is what I have learnt over a number of years.

If things are getting me down, if I am anxious or worried about something, if I am feeling low I can change things by getting into an attitude of praise.

The Psalmist tells us that we should all praise the Lord, all the nations and all the people.

He also tells us why we should praise Him; He is full of mercy and kindness and He is the Truth.

The Hebrew word praise is “haw-lal” and means to make a show, to boast, to rave or celebrate.

Many of us use music to help us praise and that is generally my method although there are others.

When I sing to the Lord things change in my sphere of influence.

My thoughts change and my focus moves from self to Him, and that can only be a good thing!

We are told to keep our thoughts on good things of the Lord (Philippians 4 v 8) and this is a great way to do that.

Praise is a strong weapon that we have to alter what we are thinking and feeling and should be used continually through the day.

Praise is one the best ways to get your focus onto the things of the Lord, especially if you are singing the Word of God.

God is worthy of all our praise, He is kind and merciful and His truth will never end.

Praise Him today and see things change around you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are a kind and merciful God, and worthy of all our praise”.

Psalm 117…..O Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord