DIG for Tuesday the 28th of November…..what do you think about Jesus…..John 1 v 11

I carried on reading the start of the Gospel of John after writing my DIG yesterday.

It is a wonderful Gospel however I was saddened a little by one of the verses.

I am of course referring to John 1 v 11.

Jesus came for us, for all of us; He came for all mankind.

However a lot, maybe most men will reject Him.

We know it is God’s will that all men are saved (2 Peter 3 v 9) however we also know many will be lost.

It is sad that many will reject the free gift of salvation.

It is sad that the world tells people that there is no God and many believe this.

Jesus brought reconciliation and forgiveness for all men, and an acceptance of this will result in salvation and life in abundance.

Jesus is the only way into life, and what you do with Jesus is the most significant decision you can make on this earth.

I am hoping that as you are reading this DIG you have made the correct decision about Jesus.

If not you really need to!

He is Lord, Creator and Saviour, and whether we believe that or not has eternal consequences for us.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus came and dwelt among us and thank you that I have recognised Him as Saviour and Lord”.

John 1 v 11…..He came unto his own, and his own received him not

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DIG for Tuesday the 10th of January…..all there, but we need to choose it for ourselves…..Ephesians 1 v 4

Yesterday my DIG was based upon Ephesians 1 v 3; well, I carried on reading the rest of this awesome passage described what we have through the finished work of Jesus.

Verse 3 says we have all spiritual blessings, and the verses following described these blessings.

Before the world began we were chosen to be in Him and with Him.

Now, this may sound like a Calvinistic doctrine, saying certain people are chosen for heaven and others for hell; it sounds like what is known as ‘predestination’.

This is not what this verse is talking about however.

God has chosen all mankind to be with Him; all sins for all men were forgiven at the cross and Jesus came to bring reconciliation to all men (Hebrews 10 v 12 and 14).

It is God’s will that all men are saved (2 Peter 3 v 9).

Men however need to choose to benefit from this forgiveness and reconciliation through faith in Jesus and His finished work.

God wants all men to be made ‘holy and without blame’, but not all men will receive this.

That is why verse 4 uses the word “should”.

We should be saved if we choose to be saved.

We should benefit from reconciliation and forgiveness if we choose to benefit.

We should be holy and without blame however we need to choose Jesus for this to happen.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you want all men to be saved and you have provided this for every man to choose for himself”.

Ephesians 1 v 4…..”According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love

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 Thursday the 25th of August…..never exclude yourself from the love of Jesus…..John 4 v 27

The disciples were amazed, they marvelled, when they found Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4 v 27).

Jesus constantly did things that surprised and amazed the disciples!

In the culture of the day Jesus should have never talked o the woman, He should not even have been in the area.

Yet the Word says he “must needs go through Samaria” (John 4 v 4).

He didn’t go for a shortcut to save time, He didn’t go because it was an easier journey, He went to meet and talk to this lady.

This is a picture of how everyone is included in the love of Jesus.

Everyone is included in Father God’s plan of salvation, not a single person is excluded (2 Peter 3 v 9).

You must never think ill enough of yourself to be excluded for anything the Lord has planned for you.

The woman He met at the well was the lowest of the low, a woman living in sin, a woman excluded from society.

She was not excluded from the love of Jesus though!

And neither are you!

No matter what you have done, no matter how low you have gone, no matter how much society has condemned you, Jesus loves you and wants a relationship with you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus loves everyone and wants a relationship with everyone and that includes me”.

John 4 v 27…..And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? Or, Why talkest thou with her?

DIG for Monday the 22nd of August…..the highest and the lowest, all the same to Jesus…..John 3 v 1 and John 4 v 9

In our journey through the Gospel of John Jesus now meets a couple of individuals, showing us that Jesus is available to all people.

Jesus makes no distinction among people; if they are alive and breathing they can come to Jesus.

The two meetings we see now in the book of John give us a picture of the inclusivity of Jesus; He wants to meet with anyone and everyone.

In Nicodemus and the Samaritan women we see the two extremes of the society of the day and see that Jesus was interested in both.

Nicodemus was a man, a Jew and from the highest in society.

The lady was (obviously) a woman, a Samaritan and from the lowest in society.

Jesus loves and is interested in what we would say are the highest and lowest in society, and everyone in between.

No one is excluded from the love of Jesus, not by Jesus anyway!

We read in the Word that the Lord wants everyone to come to salvation (2 Peter 3 v 9).

Jesus made the way for anyone and everyone to come to salvation if they choose.

The Lord is no respecter of persons (Acts 10 v 34), everyone is included if they want to be.

Whoever you are, Jesus loves you and wants a relationship with you.

If you are breathing Jesus wants a relationship with you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that there is no barrier in place to stop any man coming to You”.

John 3 v 1…..There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews

 John 4 v 9…..Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans

DIG for Wednesday the 18th of May…..forgiveness and reconciliation for all, but you still have to make a choice…..John 3 v 16

We seem to be getting bombarded these days with the doctrine of universalism, i.e. the belief that everyone is already saved through the finished work of Jesus.

I think this is a cunning plan of the enemy; if he cannot get men to stop believing in God then maybe he can get them to believe we have all been saved already.

The Word however is very clear on the matter in that there has to be a choice made by every individual with regards to Jesus.

Yes, because of the finished work of Jesus, everyone has been forgiven (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

Yes, because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, everyone has been reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5 v 18 and 19).

However in order to be saved and made righteous (and receive the benefits of forgiveness and reconciliation) a man must believe these truths and must believe in Jesus and what He has done.

In order to be saved from perishing a man must believe in Jesus (John 3 v 16).

In order to be saved a man must believe in his heart and confess with his mouth that Jesus is the Son of God and was raised from the dead (Romans 10 v 9).

The fact that a choice has to be made is there in black and white in the Word of God.

Universalism does not stand up to scrutiny if you rightly divide the Word.

The Word says that God wants all to be saved (2 Peter 3 v 9), but Jesus Himself stated that many were walking on the path to destruction.

Universalism is as dangerous as atheism, and will keep people from an eternity with the Lord.

Choosing Jesus to be his Lord and Saviour is a choice every man needs to make for himself.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that salvation and righteousness are available as free gifts, and thank You that I have chosen to accept them”.

John 3 v 16…..For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life

DIG for Monday the 28th of December….. Abba Father, the second time…..Galatians 4 v 6

Jesus was the first to use the term Abba Father, and the Holy Spirit also said this.

We saw that Jesus used this term during His hardest time on earth, now we see the Holy Spirit using it during a more joyous occasion.

We can read in the Word that the Holy Spirit cried out this phrase as He entered our heart at our initial salvation (Galatians 4 v 6).

Jesus was sent to provide a route for our salvation and God wants every man to come to repentance and salvation (2 Peter 3 v 9).

So when a man comes to the realisation that he needs a Saviour and puts his trust and faith in Jesus this is a joyous occasion for the Lord.

Hence when a man is saved and the Holy Sprit enters his heart He cries out Abba Father in joy and happiness.

The Greek word for crying is “krad-zo” and means to shriek, scream and exclaim.

So the Holy Spirit is shouting loudly as in celebration.

The Lord was glad when you were saved, and His Spirit screamed out in joy.

And we can shout out in celebration too.

Yesterday I said we could say Abba Father in our pain and hurt, well we can also shout out Abba Father in joy and celebration.

God the Father, our Dad, wants to share in our good times as well as our bad times.

We can go to Him with our successes and our good times.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can use the example of the Holy Spirit and shout out Abba, Father”.

Galatians 4 v 6…..And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father

DIG for Thursday the 13th of August…..God wants all to be saved and it has always been this way…..2 Peter 3 v 9

I had the pleasure of listening to the testimony of a fellow pastor at a men’s breakfast this morning.

He mentioned how he was thankful for all the times God had His hands on him prior to becoming a Christian, more often than not without him realising.

God has a plan and purpose for every person born, and part of that plan and purpose is salvation.

God wants everyone to come to salvation (2 Peter 3 v 9).

As the pastor was talking I was reminded about many things that happened in my life prior to coming to the Lord.

I can now see that God had His hand on my life, after all His plan and purpose for my life was to become a pastor.

The same will be true for you.

God has something unique for you to do as well and He will be telling you about this.

You may think, but I’ve not heard anything; the truth is that He will be talking to you but the key is for you to listen and understand.

Eventually (and I do say eventually) my friend testifying this morning and I heard the call of the Lord, listened and obeyed.

God will be putting people across your path, be speaking to you, trying initially to see you saved and then to move you towards His plan and purpose for your life.

He will not force you however, you need to listen and obey.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have a plan and purpose for my life, help me hear what you are saying to me today”.

2 Peter 3 v 9…..The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance


 

DIG for Wednesday the 29th of July…..what a transformation…..Acts 2 v 14

Peter is one of the more “popular” apostles and has had a lot written about him in the past.

His manners and behaviours have been dissected and discussed however I think the most important thing about him is read at the beginning of the Book of Acts.

Peter had been among the disciples that ran and hid after the death of Jesus, but here in Acts 2 we see a changed man.

We see him standing and speaking in power and authority (Acts 2 v 14 to 36).

We see thousands saved after his message (Acts 2 v 38 to 41).

We see Peter healing a lame man at the temple by speaking out more words of power and authority (Acts 3 v 1 to 9).

Peter had met the risen Saviour and that obviously had an effect on him, but we do not see him operating in power and authority until after another event.

We see Peter operating in power and authority after his baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2 v 1 to 4).

The same is true for us; we can operate in the same power and authority as we can have the same baptism; we simply need to ask for it.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from conversion (this is clear from Scripture, see Acts 8 v 14 to 17) and has nothing to do with water baptism.

It is freely available to every believer because of our position in Christ and is not dependant upon good religious performance or being a “clean vessel”.

Have you had the baptism of the Holy Spirit yet?

If not ask for it; ask a fellow believer who has been baptised to lay hands on you and agree for this baptism and then start yielding that power and authority.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and thank you for the power and authority this yields”.

Acts 2 v 14…..But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words

DIG for Wednesday the 3rd of June…..where does free will sit with the sovereignty of God…..Ephesians 1 v 4

We saw yesterday that God wants all men to be saved (2 Peter 3 v 9), but we also saw that not all men are actually saved (Matthew 7 v 14).

This shows us that God’s will does not always come to pass, so what on earth is going on?

Well, we have to talk about this thing called free will.

God created us with free will, with the ability to choose what to do and when to do it.

Scripture tells us that God has a plan and purpose for each of us (Jeremiah 1 v 5 and Isaiah 49 v 5), however this will not automatically come to pass unless we choose to walk in that plan and purpose.

The first part of the book of Ephesians (chapter 1 v 1 to 13) has some wonderful promises from God, some wonderful things that He wants all of us to have in our lives.

There is a huge word that is used a couple of times in this passage that talks to me of our free will; the word is “should”.

We should be saved, we should be set free, we should be adopted and accepted; this happens when we believe.

If we choose to believe in Jesus and His finished work (through an expression of our free will) this part of God’s plan and purpose for our lives comes to pass, but we first have to believe or make that choice.

But God decides who believes and who doesn’t is what a Calvinist would say; well, if that was correct God would create people, people you know and love, with no hope of salvation and a certainty of eternity in hell.

That is not the God that I believe in and I’m sure it is not the God that you believe in.

God is a good God and only wants the best for us, and wants to see us all saved, that is why He sent Jesus and made Him the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2 v 2), thus opening up the door to salvation for all.

As men each of us has will choose where we spend our eternity, even though it is God’s will that all men are saved.

It is not God’s decision who gets saved and who does not, that is a decision for every single one of us.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ, thus opening the door and presenting the opportunity for salvation to every man”.

Ephesians 1 v 4…..According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love