DIG for Monday the 25th of September…..is it really better to give than receive…..Acts 20 v 35

I have to tell you that I am so full of joy this morning!

I’ve just received some photos and a video of the delivery of a refrigerator.

Now you may not think that is exciting, but it is if it is being delivered to an Indian home (looking after 20 orphans) that have never had a refrigerator before.

And I am full of joy because I helped arrange for the refrigerator to be given (along with some very generous sponsors of our project).

So I can honestly answer the question in the title with a big, fat YES; it is better to give than receive.

The joy of seeing someone receive a gift from you is infectious; and that joy is one infection that I want to catch again and again.

Anyone with children will see (or remember if they are older) their faces at Christmas when you give them a gift; that is a joy to behold!

I have been so blessed by God (we all have) that it is a joy to give back into the Kingdom or to those in need.

The Bible has many verses encouraging us to give, encouraging us to become partners in the Kingdom (too many for me to list).

There is really no excuse for us as believers, giving needs to be (or should be) an essential part of our Christina walk.

The Bible is very clear on this, we are meant to be a giving people.

Not just in money and finances, but in love, mercy, and compassion and of our time.

But the Bible is clear in the fact that we are to give of our finances and resources back into the Kingdom, I would encourage you to think about that this fine morning.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for all that you have given me and thank you that I can give some of this back into the Kingdom today”.

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 then to receive

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DIG for Sunday the 24th of September…..take Jesus’ word for it and search the scriptures…..John 5 v 39

Jesus said many things that are recorded, and He obviously said other things that have not been handed down in Scripture.

So we ought to take what is recorded in the Word very seriously.

In John 5 He provides a long discourse about whom he is and what is mission is.

He also says something of utmost important to us as born again believers, in terms of what we should be doing.

We obviously want to know about Jesus, we want to relate to Him and we want a successful Christian walk.

In this “speech” Jesus tells us what we require to do in order to find out all about Him.

He says, “Search the scriptures” (John 5 v 39).

Too many Christians are chasing experiences and supernatural stuff instead of going to the source of the best information about the Lord.

The Bible, the Word of God, is where we can be assured of hearing directly from God about God.

Yes, we can hear from the Holy Spirit, but many times people tell me the Lord has spoken to them I know fine well He has not.

I also am aware of times when I have thought I’ve heard directly from God and it turned out it was from somewhere or someone else.

We have a more sure word of prophecy; it is called the Bible (2 Peter 1 v 19).

Do you want or need a “word” from the Lord tonight?

Well I would suggest that you open your Bible, start to read, and in the word of Jesus, search the Scriptures.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word and thank you that it is the agent for real and permanent change in my life”.

John 5 v 39…..Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me

DIG for Saturday the 23rd of September…..know who you are and whose you are…..2 Corinthians 5 v 17

As I marked some papers from the bible school students this morning I was reminded about two important truths that we need to know.

We need to know who we are and we need to know whose we are.

In other words we need to know our true identity.

The Bible is crammed full of truths that if we know, understand and believe will change our lives.

We are sons of the Living God, adoptees into His family and as such co-heirs with Christ.

As a son of the Living God we are His (we belong to Him), we are no longer the property of the prince of this world i.e. the enemy.

We are righteous, holy and perfect, we are saints; we have been made this as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus.

Recognition of our true identity will help us live a life of health and abundance, just as God wants us to (3 John 2).

Recognition of our true identity will help us focus on Jesus and His goodness, with no conscience of sin.

Our true identity you see is that of a saint and not a sinner.

OK, we may sin, but that is a result of our unrenewed mind, it is not due to us being sinners.

Once we have been born again we do not have a sin nature; we have a new, perfect, righteous and holy nature (Ephesians 4 v 24).

That is our true identity, a righteous spirit belonging to God the Father.

And all this is simply because we are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5 v 17).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that my true nature is righteous and holy and thank you that I am your son, adopted into your family”.

2 Corinthians 5 v 17…..Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new

DIG for Friday the 22nd of September…..Son, Son, Son not sin, sin, sin…..Galatians 5 v 1

I heard what many would think to be a controversial statement as I listened to some teaching on Galatians this morning.

The teacher said, “Legalistic, religious people hate our liberty in Christ, and they will do anything to bring you under whatever their particular brand of bondage might be”.

Unfortunately my experience is that this is a true statement and is one you need to be aware of if you are trying to understand the truth about grace.

This is also what we see in Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia.

Grace takes the focus away from our sin and onto Jesus; grace tells us it is Jesus’ performance that is important and not ours.

Legalistic, religious people have this concept the wrong way round; they want us to focus on our sin and on our performance.

Sin is no longer the focus as Jesus has dealt with all our sin (past, present and future), so our focus needs to be on the answer to sin i.e. Jesus.

It was His performance that meant we have forgiveness, so it is His performance we focus on.

If we focus on sin and our performance this will force us into more sin, that is what the Word of God says (1 Corinthians 15 v 56).

Contrary to what many will tell you it is grace that provides a licence to be free from sin, it is law that gives you a licence to sin.

Be careful that you do not allow legalists to pull you back under law and into bondage (Galatians 5 v 1).

Stay well away from legalism, be aware that it exists and be aware that it is attempting to snare you and remove you from your freedom in Christ.

This is a real problem and a real danger!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven through the shed blood of Christ, and made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in Christ”.

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 Thursday the 21st of September…..I can save you so much money…..Proverbs 18 v 21

I mentioned in the message on Sunday how I could save people thousands of pounds; are you interested?

Would you like to improve your life?

Would you like to become a success?

Yes, well there are lots of techniques and courses out there in the world promising to do this for you.

I was looking into one such course the other day and this is what I read; it was about “understanding how people organise their thinking, feelings, language and behaviour to produce the results they desire”.

Now that sounds complicated and maybe that is why it costs a thousand pounds for a two-day course.

But I can teach you the same thing in minutes, saving you a thousand pounds.

Proverbs 23 v 7 says as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.

Proverbs 18 v 21 tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue.

The course I was looking at majored on how we think and what we say, and suggest that these affect our feelings and our behaviour, and as a result affect our life outcomes.

This is of course true, and it is Biblical!

You don’t need another man to tell you your thoughts and words are vital, God is telling you already.

We can think death or life and we can speak death or life; what are you thinking and speaking over your life this morning?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can change my way of thinking and way of speaking and have a positive impact on my own life”.

Proverbs 18 v 21…..Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof

DIG for Wednesday the 20th of September…..grace and relationship instead of law and legalism…..Luke 10 v 33

I’ve often written about Jesus coming to end religion, but I’ve never ‘seen’ this before in the account of the Good Samaritan.

In this account we see a priest and a Levite pass by the man in need, before a Samaritan took pity and helped the man.

The two religious people, the priest and the Levite, probably did not help the man due to religious reasons.

Maybe they didn’t want to touch him, as it could have made them unclean.

They were more interested in their religion than a person in need; or in other words law and legalism took precedence over love, compassion, mercy and grace.

Jesus tells us that it is the Good Samaritan that we should be behaving like; we should be more interested in our neighbour than in any rules and regulations of religion.

He came to end religion.

He came to provide grace so that we could develop relationships with Him and with our neighbours.

When we read about Jesus in the Gospels, He is always more interested in the person than the rules and regulations of religion.

Jesus healed on the Sabbath for example, showing grace rather than law.

And the account of the Good Samaritan gives us a picture of this.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus came to end religion and bring in the New Covenant, a covenant of grace, mercy, love and compassion”.

Luke 10 v 33…..But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him

DIG for Tuesday the 19th of September…..stop thinking in the wrong way…..Proverbs 23 v 7

I want to share a funny, yet important, story about what happened to me yesterday; an account that highlights the great importance of how and what we think.

As I got out of the saddle for the first “climb” in my spinning class yesterday I felt a pain in my right knee. I’ve felt it a few times before but it was not significant.

I remember thinking, “this will get more sore the more I cycle out of the saddle “.

And of course it did!

It got worse until I thought, “Hold ion I am healed”, and the pain went away.

“As a man thinketh so is he” is a fundamental truth in the Word, and in this example we see it in action.

But the funnier thing happened later as I was shopping on the way home.

In the supermarket I saw knee braces, and they were at a reasonable price!

So I was checking them out, looking for the right size and actually thinking of buying one.

But them, thankfully, I remembered I was healed and did not buy one.

We need to be so careful in what we think.

In the supermarket I had once again “forgotten” about healing and was about to give in to my flesh.

I can guarantee you that if I bought that brace my knee would have got sore, as I was preparing for a sore knee.

What I need to do is thank Jesus for His finished work, and go to my spinning classes knowing that I have a perfect knee.

Are there any areas in your life where you need to stop thinking wrong and start thinking right?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that we have been healed through the finished work of Jesus”.

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