DIG for Friday the 15th of December…..are you looking to give or receive this Christmas…..Acts 20 v 35

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


DIG for Thursday the 17th of August…..if it is always God’s will to heal what about Paul’s thorn in the flesh…..2 Corinthians 12 v 7

So, what about Paul’s thorn in the flesh then?

Surely this is an example where God put an illness on a person in order to keep them humble; that is what I have been taught previously.

Well, actually it is not; if you rightly divide God’s Word you will see that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was not an illness ad it was not from God.

For a start the verse tells us where Paul’s thorn in the flesh came from, it came from Satan and was sent to buffet him.

We are also told in this verse that it was a person, a messenger, and not an illness.

To say that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was an illness from God is a misinterpretation of Scripture and a slur against the true character of God.

Paul was a minister of the Gospel and was preaching the Good News about Jesus and His finished work.

Why would God want to hinder Paul?

Why would God want Paul ill and put in jeopardy the preaching of the Gospel?

This just does not make sense and it is not Biblical!

It is the enemy who did not want Paul and His message to be exalted so he sent a persecutor or persecutors; this was what the thorn in the flesh was.

God wanted Paul healthy and he wants you healthy, and He has provided for this through Jesus.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that it is always your will that I live in health, and thank you for this provision through the finished work of Jesus”.

2 Corinthians 12 v 7…..And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure

DIG for Tuesday the 30th of May…..Paul was worthy in the Lord and so are you…..1 Corinthians 5 v 9 and 10

I hope I have a message of encouragement for some one today that is feeling that they are being called into ministry but does not feel ready or equipped.

The Lord is saying to you today, “welcome to the club”.

Paul felt that he was less than the least of all the saints (Ephesians 3 v 8) and that he was not worthy to be an apostle (1 Corinthians 5 v 9).

Paul played a major part in the persecution of the early charge and in a way could have been held responsible (or played a major part in) the murder of Stephen. Yet he went on, in the Lord’s strength and grace, to become the best ever apostle, writing a major part of the New Testament.

Abraham was a liar, Noah was a drunkard, Rahab was a prostitute, David was an adulterer and murderer, and I could go on and on.

I’ve heard it said by someone (sorry, cannot remember who) that God does not call the equipped but He equips the called.

This is a great saying to remember, especially if you feel that the Lord has called you into ministry but you feel out of your depth.

Please don’t think God looks at your past when assigning you a role in His plan and purpose for your life.

What you need to realise is that God came up with that plan before time or creation, before you did any of those stupid things in your life.

God is not looking at your past, and you need to stop that as well.

You need to look into your future and see what God has for you, and realise that if He has told you to do something He will equip you to undertake it.

Also remember that whatever you do He will be with you, having promised never to leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13 v 5).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have a plan and purpose for my life and thank you that you have provided me with all I need to fulfil that plan”.

1 Corinthians 5 v 9 and 10…..For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly then they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me

DIG for Friday the 6th of January…..preach the gospel and heal the sick, simple…..Acts 14 v 7

Go online or go to your local Christian bookshop and you will see what seems like an endless list of models and methods for evangelism.

There are countless books on the subject and masses of videos and tutorials online.

There is however a very simple and effective method modelled by Paul in the Book of Acts.

Paul and Barnabas came into a difficult situation in a certain region, coming against problems and situations (Acts 14 v 1 to 6).

Verse 7 shows us what they did once they reached where they were going; they preached the gospel. They told people the good news about Jesus and what He had done.

They then healed a man, showing the population the power of the gospel.

This is the method Paul used wherever he went; he preached the gospel and he healed people.

Now, if you want to follow this model you have to be aware of what preaching the gospel means.

It is not standing on the high street of your local town shouting at people and telling them that they are sinners and heading of an eternity without God.

This may be true, but it is not the gospel, it is not the good news.

The gospel is the truth about Jesus and His finished work and it is good news!

The good news is that through Jesus as well as being saved from a lost eternity we are saved into healing, abundance, joy and peace.

So today I urge you to preach the gospel.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus and for His finished work and thank you for the healing and abundance that is freely available through this finished work”.

Acts 14 v 7…..And there they preached the gospel

DIG for Sunday the 5th of June…..baptism of the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from salvation…..Acts 19 v 2

In church today I preached on an important, yet controversial doctrine, the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I think I may write about this in DIG for a few days now!

In Acts we clearly see that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a secondary experience from conversion or salvation.

A person has to be a believer to the ‘filled’ with the Holy Ghost.

When Paul came into Ephesus he met with ‘certain disciples’ (or believers) and asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost (Acts 19 v 1 to 6).

He asked believers if they had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

When John and Peter came down from Jerusalem to meet with the church in Samaria they laid hands on them to receive the Holy Ghost (Acts 8 v 14 to 17).

They prayed with believers to be baptised in the Holy Spirit.

It is clear from these two accounts that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a secondary experience to salvation and was something that ANY believer could receive.

This ‘experience’ was not just for the super-dupers in the upper room at Pentecost; this was for every believer and something that the apostles expected the ‘ordinary believer’ to have.

This was a part of the Christian life that the apostles actively discussed and encouraged; we can see this from the activities of John, Peter and Paul!

But is this baptism of the Holy Sprit for believers today or was this just for those in the early church n the Book of Acts?

Find out tomorrow!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word and thank you for the accounts of the baptism of the Holy Spirit”.

Acts 19 v 2…..He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost

DIG for Thursday the 3rd of March…..do you want more grace and peace in your life…..Ephesians 1 v 2

People are always looking for more “stuff” in their lives, be it love, money, power etc.

Paul writes to the Ephesians ( and he writes to you) offering some different “stuff”.

Paul offers us grace and peace.

Grace can be defined as unmerited favour and peace is the absence of strife, but also has the implication of prosperity.

Thanks Paul, I for one will have more of those please!

Paul also tells us where to find this; it can only be found in God and Christ.

Grace and peace do not come from works, religious performance or from putting your self under legalism.

Grace and peace are a gift from God and are received through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is actually described as being grace personified (John 1 v 17).

Peace (and mercy)comes from walking in the Spirit with the Lord and is a by-product of this (Galatians 6 v 16).

Do you want grace and peace in your life this afternoon?

Spend time with the Lord, meditate upon His Word and learn more about the finished work of Jesus Christ, and this will see grace and peace (including prosperity) flow through all aspects of your life.

This is what God wants for your life, He wants His grace and peace to flow through you so that you can live in health and prosperity (3 John 2 ).

He wants you to live and abundant life and has provided for this through the finished work of Jesus (John 10 v 10).

All you have to do is believe and receive!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you for your grace and peace”.

Ephesians 1 v 2…..Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ

DIG for Wednesday the 2nd of March…..God has a role for you…..Ephesians 1 v 1

Paul was a man who knew he had been appointed, and anointed, by God.

He had been chosen to carry out a role by God, under the authority and headship of Jesus.

This is what He is saying in the first verse of Ephesians; he is giving the church his credentials.

God has chosen him and now he is working for Jesus Christ.

The wonderful truth is that being chosen is not just for the “super doopers” in the church; this truth is for every single one of us.

In the Word we see God having a plan and purpose for many of His followers, for example Joseph, Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Paul to name but a few.

Also in the Word we see that God is “no respecter of persons”, that means that He has no favourites.

What God does for one person He will do for all.

So if He had a plan and purpose for Paul He has a plan and purpose for you.

I am blessed to be able to say, “Vic, a pastor and teacher of Jesus Christ by the will of God”.

You can also say the same; just replace the role title with what God has for you.

Yes, you may not be a pastor like me, you may not have a ministry that changed the world like Paul, but you do have a role in the church and in the world.

You may say you are an encourager (that is a ministry) or a helper (that is also a ministry); you may say that you set up church on a Sunday morning (that too is an essential ministry).

Whatever you have been chosen to do, you can do it for Jesus.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you love me and thank you that you have a plan and purpose for me in your church”.

Ephesians 1 v 1…..Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus

DIG for Tuesday the 1st of March…..yes, you are saint, but are you faithful…..Ephesians 1 v 1

I love preaching a series of sermons, giving me a chance to really get into a section of Scripture or a topic and “do it justice”.

I sometimes like to do this for DIG also, having written a series recently from Colossians.

I think I’ll do the same at the start of this month with the beginning of the epistle to the Ephesians.

In his greeting to the Ephesians Paul seems to write to two types of people.

He greets the saints at Ephesus; here he is speaking to all the believers in that location.

However he also greets the “faithful in Christ Jesus”.

For me this is an important phrase to understand because it says to me that there were some believers who were not faithful in Christ Jesus; and if he wrote that to the Ephesians he is also writing it to us!

The word faithful means to be trustworthy, to be sure, to be true.

Paul is saying there are believers who are trustworthy and true to Jesus Christ, to what He has done and what He has made them.

In contrast there are believers who are not trustworthy and true.

This morning we need to ask ourselves an important question, and that is am I being true to Jesus and what He has done, and can I be trustworthy with what He has given me.

Yes, you are born again so you are a saint, but are you faithful?

I’ll leave you to work that one out with the Holy Spirit!

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you for your church”.

Ephesians 1 v 1…..Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus

DIG for Monday the 29th of February…..are our current afflictions really that bad…..2 Corinthians 4 v 17

When I think that life is a bit hard or when things seem to be getting on top if me I like to look at the life of Paul.

Paul was persecuted; he was stoned and left for dead, he was beaten and whipped, he was run out of town and he was shipwrecked (more than once).

Yet Paul calls these things a light affliction (2 Corinthians 4 v 17).

He talks about the problems in his life (afflictions) being easy and light.

Easy and light!

Yes, that is what Paul says.

He says this as he looks on the eternal outlook and not just on the current physical situation.

Paul knew that Jesus loved him, knew what Jesus had done for him and knew what he had as a gift of grace through faith.

If we could have an outlook similar to that of Paul the problems of life would seem a lot smaller than we sometimes make them out to be.

If you are anything like me you can blow all things out of proportion, yet if we could look on things like Paul this would not happen.

We have been forgiven and reconciled, been saved and made righteous and have a place in eternity with Jesus.

When we focus on those truths any problem we have should shrink in size!

Focussing on Jesus and not our problems, focussing on the spiritual instead of the physical is great advice for all of us.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you for all that I have as a gift of grace through faith”.

2 Corinthians 4 v 17…..For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory

DIG for Saturday the 13th of February…..the best description of Jesus you will find anywhere…..Colossians 1 v 13

We can of course read all about Jesus and what He did in the Gospels, however I think that the best description of Jesus is not in these books; I think this is found in the epistle to the Colossians.

Colossians 1 v 13 talks about being delivered from the power of darkness by his dear Son, and this is of course talking about Jesus.

Paul then goes on (in the next nine verse) to give a marvellous exposition of who Jesus was and what He did.

He bought our forgiveness through His blood.

He is the image of God.

He was the Creator.

He is the Sustainer.

He is the head of the church.

He always was and always will be.

He came with the fullness of the Father.

He has reconciled the whole world to Father God.

As a gift of grace through faith any man can be made holy and blameless because of His finished work.

I just love this portion of Scripture and it is one I come back to time and time again.

And it is one I plan to stay within for a few days in DIG, so that we can explore it deeper together.

I am sure this passage about Jesus will bless you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus and thank you for His amazing finished work”.

Colossians 1 v 13…..Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hat translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son