DIG for Thursday the 24th of November…..up close and personal for all eternity…..Revelation 21 v 4

I was asked to speak at a funeral the other day, using a reading from The Revelation of St John as my text.

I chose to read from Revelation 21 and was struck by the intimacy that I saw when reading about what eternity would be like.

We are of course going to spend eternity with God, however the closeness and intimacy described in this passage is wonderful.

In Revelation 21 v 3 God tells us that He will be with us in the new heaven.

In the next verse He tells us that He will wipe away all tears from our eyes.

A distant and impersonal God cannot do this wiping away.

This implies our God will be close to us, involved with us in such a way that He will stroke our cheeks to remove tears.

That is a picture of intimacy that is likely to bring tears if I think any longer on it!

Further on in verse 7 we see that once in heaven we will be treating like sons.

This is just a wonderful picture of what eternity will be like with the Lord.

And the good news is that God excludes no one from this, all are invited and He wants all to come.

We choose how we spend our eternity; we have free will.

God wants all men to come to repentance and therefore salvation (2 Peter 3 v 9).

He wants all men with him in heaven, but we have to make that choice.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have decided to follow Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, and thank you that my eternity is safe with You”.

Revelation 21 v 4…..And God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away

DIG for Wednesday the 23rd of November…..of course God created it all…..Genesis 1 v 1

I have just watched the most amazing animal on iplayer, a little black beetle in the deserts of Namibia.

There’s no water there but there is a touch of fog on top of the sand dunes now and again.

This beetle climbs to the top of a sand dune (which would be equivalent to a man climbing twice the height of Mount Everest).

Once there it stands on its head and the water vapour starts to condense onto its exoskeleton.

This exoskeleton has grooves that all run towards the mouth of the beetle, so once the vapour condenses into a liquid it simply flows to the mouth.

This is absolutely amazing and so wonderful.

It makes me laugh to think that someone could tell me that this came about due to evolution.

What came first to give this beetle a competitive advantage; the grooves that point to the mouth, the fact that it can stand on its head, or that it has the drive to climb to the top of the sand dune?

This ‘strategy’ only works once everything is in place.

This points to an Intelligent Designer; I say it points to God, it does not point to ‘evolution over millions of years’.

Only God with a mind that we cannot comprehend could come up with this as a way for a beetle to get enough water to live.

I am in awe when I think of a mind that could create such diversity and such wonder.

And this is the same God that loves me!

Speak this out….”Thank you Lord that You are the Creator God and thank You that You are my Creator”.

Genesis 1 v 1…..In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth

DIG for Tuesday the 22nd of November…..free under grace not in bondage to law…..Galatians 5 v 1

I have a few verses in my Bible underlines or highlighted, and Galatians 5 v 1 is one of these.

It is a great verse reminding us that we live under grace and not under law (Romans 6 v 14).

You may be thinking but that’s not what it says, it is talking about freedom and bondage.

But Paul is giving us a picture of law and grace through this description.

The law was the set of rules and regulations that men had to love by in order to deal with their sin; they were in bondage to this system.

Jesus came and dealt with all our sin once and for all at the cross.

Jesus came and brought grace and truth (John 1 v 17).

As born again believers we no longer live under law but under grace.

Grace is the freedom that Paul is writing to the Galatians about.

We are now free from the law, free to live in relationship with God because of what Jesus has dome, not because of what we have to do.

If we try and live under the law we will fail, that is what the Word says.

We will fail and put ourselves into the bondage of guilt and condemnation.

But we do not need to do this as we have been removed from living under the curse of the law because of Jesus and His finished work (Galatians 3 v 13).

Live in the freedom of grace and don’t even attempt to live under the law.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I live under grace and not law”.

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

DIG for Monday the 21st of November…..God works in mysterious ways, what nonsense…..John 5 v 19

I wrote yesterday about WWJD bracelets and said that if we only read the Word we would know what Jesus would do without having to ask the question!

That got me thinking about something else quite similar.

Have you heard people say, “Well, God works in mysterious ways?”

What a lot of nonsense that phrase is!

I cannot find that phrase in the Bile and I just don’t believe it.

If I want to see what God would do I look to Jesus in the Gospels and see what He did.

Jesus was the express image of the Father (Hebrews 1 v 3).

Jesus could only do what the Father would do (John 5 v 19).

Jesus came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father (John 6 v 38).

Jesus did not come to earth with His doctrine, but with the doctrine of His Father (John 7 v 16).

We can look at how Jesus worked and say this is how God works.

There is nothing mysterious about what Jesus did; it is laid out for us to read for ourselves in the Word of God.

If you want to know what God would do read the Gospels and see what Jesus actually did; God will not do anything different.

Jesus loved us and Jesus healed us, so God does the same, so you see there is nothing mysterious in the way God moves.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that your will for our lives is not mysterious, You love us and You want us to be healed”.

John 5 v 19…..Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise

DIG for Sunday the 20th of November…..what would Jesus do; well, this is pretty obvious…..John 8 v 11

I haven’t seen one for a while, but do remember the WWJD bracelets that people used to wear?

‘What Would Jesus Do’ merchandise was seen in many places.

I often thought these were redundant and not necessary, as I thought it was pretty obvious what Jesus would do.

He would love and He would serve!

That seems to be what I see whenever Jesus had an encounter with another human being; He loved them and He served them.

I count healing as part of serving, but my favourite act of love and service has to be with the woman taken in adultery (John 8 v 1 to 11).

OK you may be saying, I can see that He loved her but what about serving?

Well, He set her free and that to me is serving.

Yes, He was compassionate and loving but He also helped ‘sort her out’ advising her to sin no more (John 8 v 11).

Jesus is our supreme example in how to act within human relationships, but I do not think we need to ask what He would do in various situations.

We can read the Word and know how He would act; we do not even need to ask the question!

Every time He would love and every tine he would serve; this is what Jesus would do.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus and for His example that we can read in Your Word”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more


 

DIG for Saturday the 19th of November…..if God ask us to do it we can do it…..James 1 v 19

I preached on James 1 v 19 last week, and it was as challenging a message to deliver as it was to hear.

In the world we live in today it is difficult to live out James 1 v 19 all the time.

However we have the assurance that whatever we hear God saying we can do He will give us the means to do it!

God asks us to rejoice all the time and rejoice evermore, so He has given us joy as part of the fruit of the Spirit.

In a similar way Jesus asks us to love God and love our neighbours, so we have been given more than enough love in our spirit to do this.

So can we live out our relationships according to James 1 v 19?

I would say yes as this is what God expects from us!

If this is what God wants He will equip us accordingly.

As I said in my message last week, living out James 1 v 9 is actually living out loving one another and loving your neighbour.

And we have all the love we need in our born again spirit as part of the fruit of the Spirit.

We can work out this love by understanding the Word, by understanding how much God loves us.

God is love and loved us first, so if we can truly believe this we can work out the love in our spirit and love others.

By loving others we will live out James 1 v 19.

We cannot live out James 1 v 19 by trying to live like this; it has to come naturally as we are transformed through understanding how much God loves us.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word and thank you for the fruit of the spirit”.

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

DIG for Friday the 18th of November…..you can forgive as you have been forgiven…..Ephesians 4 v 32

One of the hardest things that a person can do is forgive another for hurt done to them.

I know this from personal experience; I think we all do.

Forgiveness is not easy to give; yet we are told in the Word that we are meant to forgive other people.

In fact my understanding of Scripture is that we are to forgive all people for all things done against us.

Ephesians 4 v 32 tells us we are to be kind and tender and also to forgive others.

It also tells us how this is possible.

It is only possible through an understanding of how much God has forgiven us.

Through the shed blood of Jesus, through giving up His Son, God has already forgiven us for everything (Hebrews 10 v 12 and 14- Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14)

Once we realise how much we have been forgiven we can forgive others.

If you are saying to me today, “I cannot forgive that person”, then you do not understand how much God has forgiven you.

You may be thinking that I do not know how big the hurt was against you, and that of course is true, however God knows and God has already forgiven that person for what they did to you.

The only person being hurt through your unforgiveness is yourself.

Release yourself today; forgive the person you know you need to forgive!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that through the shed blood of Jesus 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