Merry Christmas to all you DIG readers, and may you all have a prosperous 2018; I’m away for a family Christmas and then a wee mission trip to India…..DIG will be back on line on the 8th of January, love and blessings to you all x x
It is getting close to Christmas and I’ve not done all my shopping; there are still lots of gifts to be purchased!
That’s what Christmas is for most people; what gifts they are going to get.
As I get older I have found that I enjoy seeing people get their gifts from me more than the joy I get from the gifts that I receive.
In the book of Acts, Paul tells us about something Jesus said; He said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 30:35)
This is a truth that I have only realised as I mature or if you prefer, get older!
And as I get older I have also become aware of another great Biblical truth; that is the ‘law’ of sowing and reaping.
With this ‘law’ we are blessed when we give, as we receive in return.
If you want some friends for example go out and be friendly.
If you want to receive love, bless others with your love first.
What we sow we shall reap is a sound Biblical principle.
That is why Paul can quote Jesus and say that we are more blessed if we give then receive, as a blessing is just around the corner for us as we sow into the lives of others.
Now I am not saying we give presents in order to receive some, we give as we love people and we want to bless them.
But I for one am looking forward to seeing the joy in the faces of my loved ones this Christmas rather than looking forward to whatever they have purchased for me.
How about you?
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the sound, life giving principles that we can find in your Word”.
Acts 20 v 35…..I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give that to receive
I’ve just been watching an episode on ‘Wolf Hall’ on the BBC and feel eternally grateful that I am alive at this time!
In this episode a man was burnt at the stake for reading aloud, in church, an English translation of the Bible.
I think we often forget that men and woman died in order for us to have the Bible in our own language.
The Bible has not always been as freely available as it is today!
I also think that on the whole we do not value the Bible enough.
What we have in our hands is the Word of God, literally God breathed for men to write down so that we can read it.
We have in our hands a message from God any time that we want; we do not have to ask God to speak to us, we are simply required to open the Bible to hear from Him at the time of our choosing.
Too many of us are waiting for ‘a word from God’ when we can read one for ourselves at any time.
Now I am not saying that it is not good to hear from God, but we do not need to wait.
It is our responsibility to read God’s Word and hear from Him.
The Bible is freely available to us in many formats; we can read or we can listen.
There is really no excuse to not hear from God in this day and age.
Many men and women have died wanting the freedom that we have; a freedom that many of us take for granted.
Go on, open up the Word and listen to what God has to say to you today.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word and thank you for the freedom that we have to read and study your Word”.
2 Timothy 3 v 16…..All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
For many years I used to wonder why the angel of the Lord and the heavenly host announced the birth of Jesus to a bunch of shepherds.
I actually wondered why they did not announce the birth of the Lord to people if influence and importance.
It is only recently that I have discovered (through rightly dividing the Word) that the shepherds were actually people of influence and importance.
We know the Word tells us that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.
Too many people however still think that He was born in stable, even though the Word does not say this!
The Word tells us He would be born at Migdal Eder (Micah 5:2 and 4:8).
Migdal Eder was the watchtower of the flock, the place at Bethlehem where the Temple shepherds looked after the temple flock; the flock that ‘produced’ the sacrificial lambs for the essential temple sacrifices.
These shepherds were people of influence and importance; they were the Temple shepherds, the men who knew all about sacrificial lambs!
The angel of the Lord said they would know Jesus from a sign, with the sign being that He was wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Why would this be a sign?
Well, when the sacrificial lambs were born the Temple shepherds examined them and if they were perfect they would be wrapped in swaddling clothes to keep them perfect!
Jesus was the perfect and last sacrificial lamb, and He was ‘inspected’ by the very special shepherds at His birth.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus, our perfect and best sacrificial lamb”.
Luke 2 v 12…..And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger
Well, I was hoping to write some DIGs about how ‘wrong’ the narrative about the birth of Jesus really is, but I’ve not got round to it yet (see DIG on December 1st).
My big ‘new’ revelation this year is why we have such an emphasis on the 3 wise men coming to see Jesus at His birth.
Looking at the Word we can clearly see that the wise men actually came to see Jesus when he was about 18 or 24 months old, and they actually came when He was home in Nazareth.
The Bible does not tell us how many wise men there were, but tradition says three (Matthew 2 v 1).
The Bible says the wise men met Jesus as a young child (look at the Greek) and not a baby (Matthew 2 v 11).
The Bible tells us that Jesus was taken home to Nazareth after going to Jerusalem, and that was where the wise men met Him (Matthew 2 v 11 and Luke 2 v 22 and 39).
So why is tradition so strong in telling us that the 3 Wise Men were in the stable at the birth of Jesus.
I believe that the Lord told me the answer to this question; it is to take away from the significance of the shepherds.
If we look at the Word we can see that the only people to see Jesus at his birth, other than Mary and Joseph, were the shepherds.
And if we understand whom these shepherds were we could see why Jesus was born, we get an amazing piece of typology about the mission of Jesus.
If we understand about the shepherds we can see that Jesus was born to die!
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that we can read the truth about the birth of Jesus in your Word”.
Matthew 2 v 1…..Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem
We have had a few days of nasty weather here in the UK, however in the part of Scotland that I live in we have had no snow to speak of.
I saw a wonderful picture today from NASA, showing most of the country in white, but part of Moray (where I live) was lovely and green.
What the picture also showed was how beautiful Scotland, and this world, really is.
Creation is a wonderful thing, highlighting the power and might of our Creator God.
The beauty that we see around us displays the splendour of God.
Science just cannot explain where the earth came from, let alone explain how we ended up as inhabitants of this earth.
Snow itself is a wonder of creation; I think I’m correct in saying all snowflakes are unique in their size and shape (how anyone has worked that out I do not know).
The world is full of amazing marvels of creation; fingerprints, lichen and the Northern Lights are among some of my favourites, while I’m sure you have some favourites too.
Our God is truly amazing, yet the most amazing thing is that He came into this world in the form of Jesus (John 1 v 14).
Jesus (who always was and is God) came into the world that He created; He “lowered” Himself to come here for your sake and my sake.
At this time of year, with Christmas looming, it is wonderful to think about our Creator God coming to earth as a man, to save men from their sin.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your wonderful creation and thank you for Jesus”.
Genesis 1 v 1…..In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth
I’ve just watched a painful video on FB, where a young lad is crying over the incidents of bullying he has to put up with at school.
I have to say I don’t normally react to things like this on FB but this video really got to me!
It reminded me how hurtful we can all be to each other at times, but it also reminded me that there is another way to live.
Jesus gave us the order in which to love, and this order does not put us first.
We are to love God and then love our neighbour; and in this context our neighbour is anyone expect us!
Yes, we are to love everybody over ourselves.
Imagine what the world would be like if everyone put this into practice; there would simply be no bullying for anyone to put up with.
Now we cannot force everyone to do this but even if we (all the born again believers) put this into practice the world would be a different place.
Imagine what our schools would be like if our children and grand=children lived out this verse.
Imagine what workplaces would be like, what shops would be like, what everything would be like.
Everyone single one of us can live out this verse; Jesus would not have asked us to do it if it were not possible.
Look out for someone to love today.
And if you see some bullying going on, why not pop over and have a wee chat with the person being hurt!
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus and thank you for the love he showered upon me, allowing me to love others over myself”.
Mark 12 v 30 and 31…..And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than this
For many people the Bible is a difficult book to understand, with many truths hidden from them.
Take many of the truths about Jesus for example.
Many people think that we read the Gospels to find out about Jesus, and this is true to a certain extent.
But the truth is that the whole Bible is about Jesus!
We can read about Jesus from Genesis through to Revelation.
At the beginning of Mark we read this statement, “As it is written in the prophets” (Mark 1 v 2).
The Gospel of Mark then goes on, of course, to tell us about Jesus.
So we can read about Jesus in the prophets, or in other words in a part of the Old Testament.
Jesus confirmed this truth after He had risen from the dead.
As He was walking on the road to Emmaus with a couple of the believers He told them about Himself as it was written in the Old Testament (Luke 24 v 27).
One of the great secrets of the Bible is that its entire contents are about Jesus!
Start reading the Bible today with an expectant heart, looking for truths about Jesus.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word and thank you for the truths about Jesus held within”.
Mark 1 v 1 and 2…..The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee
I had a wonderful afternoon today, having lunch and spending some time with “old” colleagues from my previous workplace.
It was great getting together, chatting and reminiscing over old times.
I often think about the old times on my own, but it is always more enjoyable with other people.
Sitting here tonight thinking about this made me ponder church and the Christian life.
I’ve said this often (and will say it many times again); your Christian walk should not be done alone.
Church is all about people, and the Word encourages us to be with other people.
How can you be a blessing if you avoid people, if you don’t do church?
Now, there are many ways to do church, in your home for example; I do church in a theatre, but it always involves other people.
I am not talking about going to a church building; I am talking about being and doing church.
The Greek word used for church talks about the body of believers not the buildings we meet in.
The Word encourages us to do church, to consider one another, not forsaking coming together as the body of Christ, as His church (Hebrews 10 v 23 to 25).
This may cause some of you to be offended, however I’m going to say it anyway; not doing church is either selfishness (you don’t want to bless others) or arrogance (you think others cannot bless you).
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the privilege and opportunity to be church and to do church with my brothers and sisters in Christ”.
Hebrews 10 v 25…..Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the say approaching
I heard an amazing quote in a teaching I was listening to last night; the teaching was by a chap called Lance Wallnau.
He said, “We have reduced our theology to the level of our failed experience”.
I agree completely with this statement, I just wish I could have put it as succinctly as Lance!
Take for example the doctrine or theology of healing.
Many in the church think that healing is not for us today; given that they see illness all around us and given that they do not see everyone being healed.
The Word says that by His stripes we were healed (1 Peter 2 v 24 and Isaiah 53 v 5).
The Word says that above all things the Lord wants us to live in health and prosperity (3 John 2).
Scripture is clear that healing was provided (for everyone) at the cross of Christ, and the Word of God should be where we find our theology and doctrine.
Many believers however try and fit their theology and doctrine around their (failed) experience rather than the Word of God.
If we see that everyone is not healed, we believe that healing is not for everyone.
What we should be doing is trying to find out what is blocking the flow of this healing that Jesus has already provided for us.
Our theology should be increased up to the Word of God rather than reduced to our failed experience.
Speak this out today….”Thank you for the healing that I have already been provided with through the finished work of Jesus”.
3 John 2…..Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth