DIG for Saturday the 30th of January…..fear, what fear…..1 John 4 v 18

In church today I testified to my church family that a lot of my life had been driven by fear; fear of failure, fear of not being able to provide for my family and fear of death (among other things).

The good news is that because of a better understanding of Jesus and His finished work these fears no longer have an effect on me.

I no longer fear failure, as I know my success in life is guaranteed because of and through Jesus.

I no longer fear lack of provision, as I know Jesus has already provided all I need, for both my family and me.

I no longer fear death, as I know Jesus has also provided for my eternal salvation.

Knowledge of Jesus and what he has done, in other words knowledge of His perfect love has meant fear has had to flee from my life.

The Word says that perfect love casteth out fear.

This is true not just for me but also for you.

If you have a fear in your life today it is because you do not have an understanding or revelation about one part or another of His love for you.

So, the good news is you can overcome that fear by getting a deeper revelation of His love.

It has to be His love that is important, as only His love is perfect.

You cannot force yourself to overcome a fear, but you can “work” on gaining a better understanding of His love and what He has done for you.

This will allow you to cast out the fear that is currently affecting your life.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you love, that you have always loved me and that you will always love me”.

1 John 4 v 18…..There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love

DIG for Friday the 29th of January…..being double minded is not a good thing to be…..James 1 v 8

If you’ve read DIG for any length of time you will know that something I keep going on about is how we think and how important this is to how our lives will develop.

Good thinking leads to good things, and vice versa.

We need to know what we believe and stick with it, we need to be single minded in other words.

James writes that if we are double minded we will be unstable; if we are not sure what we believe, if we “chop and change” what we think our lives will not be as we desire.

One way that I see people being double minded is in trying to mix law and grace, or “living in balance” as I’ve heard it being said.

Grace and law are like oil and water; they cannot and will not mix.

Paul makes it very clear in his epistle to the Galatians that grace and law are opposites and he encourages (rather strongly) for believers to stick with grace and stay away from law.

Grace leads to freedom, while law (legalism and religion) leads to slavery (Galatians 5 v 1).

Grace is liberating while law leads to bondage.

Grace and law do not need to be in balance; grace should dominate our lives 100% and law should be nowhere to be seen.

Be single minded this morning and live under grace and not law.

Double mindedness in this area will lead to an unstable life.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for grace, that came to earth in the form of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

 James 1 v 8…..A double minded man is unstable in all his ways

DIG for Thursday the 28th of January…..Vic, you are choosing how you feel…..Philippians 4 v 4 to 7

In our bible study last night the Lord clearly spoke to me about my attitude and the way I was thinking, but I think what He said will help us all, so I am going to share this in my DIG today.

As a group we spent time meditating over Philippians 4 v 4 to 7 and then shared what we though the Lord was saying about it.

For me the Lord said that this passage was all about choice; we could choose to rejoice, choose to be moderate, choose to stop worrying and choose to be thankful (Philippians 4 v 4 to 6).

In this way we would see peace flowing in our lives (Philippians 4 v 7).

He said, “Vic, you are choosing to feel sad, you are choosing to feel low”.

Now, I do not get up in the morning and think, “I’m choosing to feel a bit down this morning”.

However, everything we do is a choice; we choose what to read, what to listen to, who to speak to, where to go and what to do.

The Lord said to me, “You cannot choose to be at peace, but you can choose so that you will be at peace”.

This is true and this is what this passage in Philippians is all about; we can choose to do certain things or not, and dependant upon this we will raise or lower the levels of peace that we operate under.

Yes, we cannot choose peace, but we can choose to do things that will allow His peace to be made manifest in our lives.

In a similar way Isaiah reminds us that if we want perfect peace we need to keep our minds stayed upon God.

This “list” in Philippians is an example of keeping your mind stayed upon the Lord; if we are focussing on Him and His goodness we will not worry and we will be thankful for example.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word and thank you that you have set in place a way for me to see peace in my life”.

Philippians 4 v 4 to 7…..Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

DIG for Wednesday the 27th of January…..now this is a good way to live your life…..Proverbs 3 v 3 and 4

I have many verses highlighted and underlined in my Bible, with Proverbs 3 v 5 and 6 among them.

However when my bible opened at this passage today it was the verses before these that drew my attention.

Reading them I thought, what great advice on how to live your life.

Have mercy and tell the truth is what verse 3 says.

Keep these principles and live by them the Psalmist is saying; he says bind them round your neck.

Let all see that this is how you live your life; he says write them on the table of your heart.

I love the poetry of the Psalms, but behind this poetry is a wonderful way to live your life; be good to people (have mercy) and tell the truth.

We would live in a far better world if this were the guiding principle behind how we operated.

It made me think of what Jesus said to his disciples about loving God and loving your neighbour.

Having mercy and telling people truth is an expression of loving them, and should be a direct result of the commandments of Jesus.

Now I have to be honest and say this is not as easy to do as it is to write, however I can tell you that it becomes easier the more you understand the mercy and truth that you have received from the Lord.

As we understand His mercy we can be merciful, and as we learn His truth we can live more truthfully.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your mercy and your truth, made manifest to us through Jesus”.

Proverbs 3 v 3 and 4…..Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man

DIG for Tuesday the 26th of January…..sharing of your faith is strengthened through knowledge of what you have through Him…..Philemon 6

Do you want to be able to share your faith more effectively with those around you?

Do you want to be a better evangelist?

Paul tells Philemon (and us) how to do this (Philemon 6)

He says we need to increase our knowledge of the good things we have through Jesus, or in other words the finished work of Jesus Christ.

We need to increase our knowledge of our forgiveness.

We need to increase our knowledge of our righteousness.

We need to increase our knowledge about the healing and abundance that Jesus has provided for His children.

We do not need to go on evangelism courses or force ourselves to share the Gospel.

We need to increase our knowledge of who we are in Christ and what we have through Christ.

Once again we see that knowledge is the key; knowledge that you can find for yourself through revelation of the Word of God.

By studying His Word and listening to the Holy Spirit you will increase your knowledge of Jesus and His finished work and you will be able to share your faith more effectively; this has to happen, as this is what the Word says!

So I urge you, get into the Word, increase your knowledge of Him and share your faith more effectively.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word, thank you for the truths within about Jesus and His finished work”.

Philemon 6…..That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus

DIG for Sunday the 24th of January…..if you want to be like Jesus start by praying like Him…..John 11 v 43

How many times have you heard Christians say that they want to be like Jesus?

If you are like me you’ll have heard that a few times.

While I was reading the Word today I was looking at the account of when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11 v 1 to 44).

As Jesus spoke out that powerful prayer as He brought Lazarus back to life, I thought, “I wish people would pray more like Jesus”.

A lot of prayer today seems to be about telling the other people in the room what is going on, or telling God about your problem (as if he doesn’t know already).

This prayer of Jesus is a prayer of assertiveness and a prayer of boldness.

At other times when we see Him praying He is communing with His Father or giving thanks.

When we pray are we giving thanks, spending time with the Lord and being bold?

If I were honest I would answer, no, not all the time.

I am aware that my prayers are more about being thankful than they were in the past, but I think I can still learn a thing or two about prayer from Jesus.

Jesus did not ask for things to happen, He spoke them out and commanded them.

He did not say, “Please I f it be thy will, oh glorious and heavenly Father, raise Lazarus from the dead”.

Jesus recognised what He could do and spoke these out.

Maybe it is time to be more like Jesus in our prayer lives.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for prayer and thank you for the example of the prayers spoken out by Jesus”.

John 11 v 43…..And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth

DIG for Saturday the 23rd of January…..you are as righteous as God, yes you…..2 Corinthians 5 v 21

The truth held within 2 Corinthians 5 v 21 are some of the best-kept secrets in the church.

I say secrets, as I do not often hear them being preached.

I hear people being told to do this and do that, stop this and stop that, in order to become right before God.

The truth however is that if you have trusted in and believed upon Jesus and His finished work you have already been made right before God.

In fact you have been made as righteous as God (2 Corinthians 5 v 21).

This is an amazing truth and a truth that if you truly understand will change your life.

But I am still doing unrighteous acts, so how can I be righteous already you may ask.

Well, this is talking about the important part of you, the real part, the part that God sees when He looks at you.

God looks at the spirit part of you, the part that was alive to sin but became new when you were born again (2 Corinthians 5 v 17)

He looks at the part of you that was created in righteousness and true holiness at your point of salvation (Ephesians 4 v 24).

The truth is that the “real” part of you is already righteous, and is as righteous as God.

That is something to celebrate about this morning.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus I have already been made righteous”.

2 Corinthians 5 v 21…..For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him