DIG for Friday the 23rd of June…..the Word is hard and challenging but it is so worth it…..John 14 v 12

I’m taking a wee break just now from preparing my next sermon as I am finding the material I’m looking to teach very challenging!

I love the Word and I love preparing to teach the Word but sometimes it is really hard to take on board the message coming over.

There are times when I say to myself, “OK, I’m not sure about this and I’m not really doing this, but the Word says I can so I have to believe I can”.

Have you ever thought like that?

Take John 14 v 12 for example.

I am planning to use this verse in my next message to encourage and exhort the fellowship, but it is such a hard verse to believe!

Jesus says that we (as born again believers and followers of Him) can do what He did and we can do it greater (in terms of numbers of things we can do as a group instead of just an individual).

But Jesus walked on water, Jesus healed the sick (sometimes all of them), Jesus cast out demons and Jesus even raised people from the dead.

The Word, Jesus indeed, is saying I can do all those things.

He is also say that you, if you are a born again believer, can do all those things as well.

What do you think about that?

I don’t know about you but I find that challenging, but I also find it extremely encouraging, as I know it is possible for me to do those things as Jesus has said I can.

I may not be seeing this happening just now but Jesus has said I can and Jesus is not a liar.

So for now I am just going to believe it, try and understand it a bit more and start speaking out that I can do it; what about you, going to join me?

Speak this out today…..Thank you Lord that through the finished work of Jesus I can do what your Word says I can do”.

John 14 v 12…..Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that beleiveth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father

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DIG for Thursday the 22nd of June…..the Lord is my Lord, my God…..Psalm 18 v 1 and 2

As I’ve written before, I sometimes just let my Bible open and see what it says!

Tonight I did just this and opened the Bible up at Psalm 18.

One thing hit me straight away and it was the use of the word “my” nine times in the first two verses.

The Psalmist was writing about his God, but I know that this is also talking about my God.

I can take these verses and ‘claim’ the same things that the Psalmist knew.

I can say that the Lord is my strength, my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.

He is my salvation and He is my high tower.

These are wonderful truths that the Psalmist knew and also what I know.

And the wonderful truth is that you can know the same as these words are also for you; these truths can be for every person.

As a believer these truths hold for all of us, all that is required is faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus.

The same is true about all the other truths in His Word.

We can personalise everything that was prophesied for future believers and also what we read under the New Covenant.

The Word is a list of what we can have as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you are my God, my strength, my fortress and my deliverer”.

Psalm 18 v 1 and 2…..I will love thee, O lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower

DIG for Wednesday the 21st of June…..His work was once and once only…..Hebrews 10 v 12

Yesterday I wrote about the finished work of Jesus Christ and His final words before He died on the cross.

Through this work we can enter His rest and we can approach God on Jesus’ performance rather than our own.

We all know sin was an issue, and it had come between man and God.

So sin had to be dealt with once and for all so that men could, once again, boldly approach God the Father.

Jesus was the One chosen to deal with the sin issue and He did deal with it on the cross.

He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities (Isaiah 53 v 5).

On the cross Jesus took all our sin, once and for all, for all men for all time.

He dealt with sin once and once only, and He dealt with it ALL.

And once He had finished this work He returned to His father and sat down (Hebrews 10 v 12).

I love this picture that this verse gives us of Jesus sitting down with His work finished.

When Jesus said, “It is finished”, He meant so much; the work of the Law for man was over, the effect of sin was over and His work was over.

Jesus finished all that required to be finished, once and for all (Hebrews 10 v 12).

Our work (and religion) is also over, we can now approach God through Jesus’ complete and perfect work.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that we can approach you through His performance”.

Hebrews 10 v 12…..But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God

DIG for Tuesday the 20th of June…..dead religion must have your works…..Galatians 5 v 1

I saw a rather interesting post on Facebook this morning, comparing the last earthly words of Jesus and Buddha.

Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19 v 30), while Buddha is claimed to have said, “Strive without ceasing”.

Now, I checked other sources for his final words and got many different statements, including, “Strive with earnestness” and “Live life pure with diligence”.

Whatever his last words were, Buddha was telling his followers that they still had to do something and indeed keep doing it well.

Jesus told His followers that what had to be done had been done; indeed whatever it was had been finished.

Buddha was talking of works, while Jesus was talking about rest.

Christianity is all about what Jesus has done and completed, religion is all about what we still have to do.

Christianity is not a religion, in that it was not man made, it was Christ made!

All religions of this world (and I do not include true Christianity in this list) are systems of rules and regulation whereby men try and live a worthy and good life, allowing them to reach out to God.

Religion is all about works.

Christianity is all about resting in the finished work of Jesus, or it should be.

Christianity requires you to have faith in Jesus and does not require works for you to be worthy in the sight of God (John 6 v 29).

Paul warned the church about the dangers of religion, reminding them not to return to dead works and slavery (Galatians 5 v 1).

This warning is as true today as it was when Paul wrote his epistle.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that we can enter into His rest and liberty through the finished work of Jesus”.

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 slavery

DIG for Monday the 19th of June…..Jesus always has the answer…..Hebrews 4 v 15

Do you have a problem with sin this morning?

Is there something that you are struggling with, are you under temptation right now, wondering if you are going to give in to that temptation?

Let me tell you that there is one answer to every problem like this.

The answer is Jesus.

We can come to Jesus and lay our problems with Him, as there is nothing that we are being tempted with that Jesus has not been tempted with.

Yes, that is what the Word of God says!

Hebrews 4 v 15 says that Jesus was tempted by everything that we are tempted with.

This verse then goes on to say that Jesus never sinned.

So Jesus never gave in to the temptation you are suffering under, so He can hep you!

His mercy, love, grace and compassion are what we need to live a life of godliness.

Once again, that is what the Word says; we already have all we need for life and godliness through knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1 v 3).

Jesus is always the answer.

Jesus is the answer to every problem and issue we are suffering with.

Jesus is the answer to every temptation coming against us.

And He is also the answer if we, for whatever reason, give in to that temptation.

1 John 2 v 1 says that if we do give in we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus is always the answer; the answer to staying away from sin and the answer when we do sin”.

Hebrews 4 v 15…..For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin

DIG for Sunday the 18th of June…..how we feel is determined by what we think…..Proverbs 23 v 7

I was reminded last night about what my wife calls “speculative imagination” and the dangers of it.

This is when we think about an upcoming event (or even something that may or may not happen) and imagine the worst possible outcomes.

This of course leads to worry and anxiety.

We fall into worry and anxiety because of the way we are thinking.

It is our negative thoughts that impact us into feeling negative.

This is clearly what the Bible says, as a man thinketh so is he.

Now, I have written about this many times before, but I will write about it many times again as it is an issue I see all the time in the church (and I have to be honest and say at times in me).

Some of the worst things we have imagined in our lives never happen, yet we have gone through worry, fear and anxiety unnecessarily because of the way we have been thinking.

We can live in peace if our mind (our thoughts) is focussed on the Lord and the things of the Lord (Isaiah 26 v 3).

The Word in Isaiah 26 v 3 even goes so far as saying we can live in perfect peace if we have control over our thought life and stay focused on Him.

Are you feeling negative this morning?

What have you been thinking on?

Can you take time to focus on the Lord and all the good things He has done for you?

I can promise you that will really help!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you say I can live in perfect peace if I keep my mind focussed on you”.

Proverbs 23 v 7…..For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee

DIG for Saturday the 17th of June…..we all now have a great Dad…..Ephesians 1 v 5

I was blessed at having a Dad who truly loved me, a man who was far from perfect but a man who tried his best.

Some people were not as fortunate as me, however as born again believers we all now have the perfect Father.

The Word tells us that we have now been adopted through Jesus so are therefore now sons and daughters (in the family) of the Living God (Ephesians 1 v 3).

My Father in Heaven is perfect and gave me His best when He sent Jesus to be the propitiation for my sin.

I hear people in the church blaming their father (and mother) for all sorts of things.

Well, they need to realise that they now have a perfect Father and really have no excuse for the bad things in their life.

Their Heavenly Father has provided all they need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1 v 3).

If a born again believer is lacking anything it is not the fault of their Father, He has done all He needs to do.

If a believer is in lack it is to do with their unrenewed mind in some area; the believer is still living in either ignorance or unbelief.

Father God is not holding anything back from us; it is us who are not receiving.

You may continue to blame your earthly father for things, that is your choice (right or wrong), but you are not justified in blaming your Heavenly Father for anything.

He is perfect and has already done all He needs to do for you; the rest is now up to you!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I am now adopted into your family, and am a son or daughter of the Living God”.

Ephesians 1 v 5…..Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will