DIG for Sunday the 10th of December…..we could have a world without bullying…..Mark 12 v 30 and 31

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


DIG for Sunday the 2nd of July…..He loved us first…..1 John 4 v 19

I have a good friend who has a really good saying, “The man of law boasts about his love for God, the man of grace boasts about God’s love for him”.

This really impacted me the first time I heard it and it keeps impacting me.

You see, law is all about what you need to do, however grace is all about what God has done.

Law is about us and grace is about God, and what He has done through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Law is all about religious performance, grace is about Jesus’ performance.

Yes, we obviously need to love God however what we should be boasting about is the love that God has for us.

God does not demand our love, but He does want it.

Why do you think He sent Jesus to die for our sin, why do you think His Son went through what He did?

God loved (and still loves) mankind first, and the wonderful thing is that we get to love Him in return.

The most important thing for us is His love, as this is why we receive what we receive.

We are not healed, accepted and made prosperous because of our love for Him, but through His love for us.

We are healed, accepted and prospered through grace, not law.

That is why we should be boasting about His love, and not ours!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you loved me first and thank you that you still love me”.

1 John 4 v 19…..We love him, because he first loved us

DIG for Thursday the 22nd of September…..we are here to love one another…..1 John 4 v 7

While I was out shopping this morning I recognised a lady from an old church I used to go to many years ago.

I said hello, asked if she was who I thought she was and then explained who I was.

After this awkward moment we had a nice conversation.

I knew her husband had died recently but I didn’t know today was their wedding anniversary and that she needed some encouraging words.

The Lord knew however!

I had seen this lady a few times before and to be honest had not approached her, not knowing what kind of response I would get.

But the Lord prompted me to say hello today and I was able to give her a smile and some words of encouragement.

We are here to edify, encourage and exhort one another, not only in church but also in other situations, including the supermarket aisles.

Say hello to someone today; ask how they are doing, give them some encouragement and show them some kindness.

You do not know how much a smile and a kind word are required by some people today and you may just be the one to give it to them.

Verses like 1 John 4 v 7 are not just for in church on a Sunday morning, they are for everyday life!

Can you share some love today?

Speak this out…..”Thank you Lord that we can love others because you first loved us”

1 John 4 v 7…..Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God

DIG for Tuesday the 28th of June…..what if, what if, what if…..1 John 4 v 18

Lots of people live with the fear that I had as a youth and young man, the fear of death.

This has gone for me now, however I see a different kind of fear in many people today, and this includes many believers in the church.

Today there are lots of people with a fear of life!

What if I lose my job, what if my wife leaves me, what if the economy falters, what if we leave the EU, what if, what if……

Asking these types of questions is, in my view, a fear of life, as these questions are normally asked if we feel negative towards that area.

Very rarely do we ask what if in a positive light!

Living in the world today we have to accept and deal with uncertainty in many areas such as the economy and relationships.

But as I’ve been writing in DIG recently there are truths and certainties in life, such as righteousness and forgiveness.

Fear is something that we should not have as a born again believer.

An understanding of the love that God has towards us will result in less fear in our lives, that is what the Word of God says (1 John 4 v 18).

If we are in fear over our economic future we do not understand that God loves us so much that He will provide for and bless us (John 10 v 10 and 2 Corinthians 8 v 9).

If we fear the rejection of men we do not understand that God loves us so much that He accepts and approves of us (Ephesians 1 v 6).

Fear, in every area of your life, is a lack of understanding about the love God has for you.

So the way to remove any fear is to dive into the love of God!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you God that you love ME”.

1 John 4 v 18…..There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love

DIG for Sunday the 22nd of May…..we can love Him because He first loved us…..1 John 4 v 19

In our church service today I was reminded of something said by Dave Feldman, a wonderful grace teacher and man of God, when he was with us a few years ago.

He said, “the man of law boasts about how much he loves God, the man of grace boasts about how much God loves him”.

This has stuck with me ever since and I was led to share it during the worship today, and I share it with you all now.

We should be boasting of His love, as without that we are just not capable of loving Him; this is what the Word says.

We love Him, because He first loved us (1 John 4 v 19).

God is a God of love, showing His love for us in many, many ways.

He created this wonderful world for us.

He gave us free will, with which we really mucked things up.

He sorted out our ’muck up’ by sending Jesus, His ultimate expression of love for us.

He gave us healing and wholeness, joy and peace, abundance and prosperity.

These are all things to boast about; and because of this it is natural to love Him back, our love for Him is nothing to boast about.

God the Father, and what he has done for us through Jesus is worth boasting about.

The fact that we love Him back should not really be worthy of mention.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you loved me, that you still love me and that you will always love me”.

1 John 4 v 19…..We love him, because he first loved us

DIG for Wednesday the 13th of April…..husband and wife, like Christ and His church…..Ephesians 5 v 25

And today we have the last in Sean’s series on love, thanks Sean!

This is the final day that I will look at the love of God (agape).

Yesterday we looked at 1 Corinthians 13 which many couples use in wedding ceremonies though in context this is not what 1 Corinthians 13 is about.

However husbands and wives are important because they act out the analogy of the love between God and humanity.

One of the clearest and most distinct passages that show how a husband is to love a wife is found in Ephesians 5.I don’t know about you folk but up here religious men will keep wives “in check” by always bringing up the passage:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).

Mostly they forget what the rest of the passage says:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones (Ephesians 5:26-30).

The husband is to put his wife first loving her as himself, serving and being willing to die for her.

As they say about the a bodyguard and security, a husband must be willing to take ‘a bullet’ for his wife

That simple means a husband must be willing to totally give himself to his wife as Christ Jesus gave Himself for the Church.

But this also means that a wife is to respect her husband, to be there and let him cherish and love her.

Now I’m not saying a wife has to accept abuse, lying and perversion but what I am saying is that if a marriage is well balanced then this passage in Ephesians is possible (I know this works for my wife and I).

Love, love, love; it is the answer to all ills and the love of God is prime.

Yes, the spiritual side is a mystery to us but like all mysteries this can be solved.

And as I sign off, love and grace to each and every one of you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for loving me and thank you that I can love others as you love me”.

Ephesians 5 v 25…..Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it

DIG for Tuesday the 12th of April…..worship is also about love…..1 Corinthians 13 v 13

Penultimate DIG in Sean’s series today…..

Is it not interesting that one of the greatest pieces about love found outside the Gospel of John and his letters is about worship, particularly about the use of tongues and prophecy?

Paul shows the Church at Corinth that you can work signs and wonders and heal and have all those things going on but if there is no love there (Agape-Love of God) you are wasting your time; love encompasses all that is good and beautiful.

Last year I went on a five day fast and retreat, and had an awesome time with Jesus.

I felt it was important and was led to do it to see what God required of me.

I was told in no uncertain terms by God that if I knew nothing about His love and compassion to all then I was not getting the truth I needed to move forward.

Now this man thought he knew about love but what I knew was pittance; the five days with the Word and worshipping God took me on a journey that actually ended at 1 Corinthians 13 where truths were revealed that I will write elsewhere.

Enough to say that this chapter, often used for marriage ceremonies, is actually about how a fellowship or church (small ‘c’ for a group of people in one location), should develop strategies of love and welcoming and be open to God and all individuals within a fellowship, to not just sit on their pews but to come prepared in love not just to let the pastor, elders and music team do the work but actually to do stuff themselves.

1 Corinthians 13 is also about order, joy and gentleness not going into pandemonium and confusion and not impure carnality either; it is about living in faith and serving God in loving others.

This is chiefly about being centred on the Word, worshiping in Spirit and truth and being open to God and not egos and emotions.

Yes, even in our worship we are called to love, not just God, but others too.

It seems that always loving God is about loving your neighbour especially as we worship Him.

Speak this out today…..”Thank You God you love us and through us can love others. Thank you that as I face each new day and especially when I go to church or fellowship I can love my neighbour as myself. Thank you Lord for the opportunities to do so and thank you for your resources to develop this”.

1 Corinthians 13 v 13…..And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity

DIG for Monday the 11th of April…..put love into practice…..Mark 12 v 33

Today is the fifth in Sean’s DIG series…..

As we renew our minds we can get a deeper revelation regarding the love of God and come to understand Him and share that love with others.

Tonight was a great example for me as I spent over an hour on the phone with a dear brother in Christ.

We spent the time sharing God’s Word and truth and we got excited by each other’s revelation on faith and healing.

He taught me such a lot and my spirit was refreshed as I listened to him, and I’m sure his was as he listened to me.

If we love God we share this love with others.

We meditate on the truths of God and as well as a spiritual life we also develop accompanying actions.

Over winter there was a lot of posts about praying for the homeless this winter, however the letter of James (2 v 15 to 17) says:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Faith and love work hand in hand.

Loving God is about our receptiveness to Him responding to what He calls us to do, it is that simple.

Meditate on these truths and respond in Faith and love.

Jesus was our prime example living His life for us and giving it up so that we could claim it as our own, that is true love in practice.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that as I meditate on your truths you give me instances that I can put them into practice”.

Mark 12 v 33…..And to love him (God) with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices

DIG for Sunday the 10th of April…..no condemnation from Jesus…..John 21:17

Today’s DIG is the fourth in our mini-series from Sean…..

So we have Peter who denied Jesus three times, yet there was no condemnation out of the Lords’ mouth.

Jesus meets Peter where He is at.

Peter and Jesus were around the fire gazing at the embers, just as Peter had done on the night he betrayed the Lord (three times Peter stated that He did not know Jesus).

Now as memories and guilt and depression took hold of Peter, Jesus gets him to say three times that he loves Him.

Jesus also gives him a commission, which Peter in His way accepts, at least on a carnal level.

Peter, we see later, went on and filled with the Holy Spirit helped develop that early Church.

The Old Testament can be seen as a series of writing regarding snippets of love from us to God but on the whole we see unrequited love.

When Jesus comes and finishes His work on the cross then even carnal love is enough (Hebrews 13:1) to start with.

But as our minds are renewed and our spirit starts to respond to God then this love goes much deeper coming out of our spirit rather than our flesh (1 Corinthians 13), though this love in our flesh is then guided by the Spirit and so things work out much more evenly and balanced rather than based on what we feel.

After all it is the Joy of the Lord that is our strength.

We find it easier to forgive, we rely less on our egos and self-worth based on who we are in the flesh.

Instead we reach the point we can honestly say that it is not us who lives but Christ Jesus within us (Galatians 3:20).

Our focus is based on His righteousness (Galatians 3:21) and not our own and we respond out of His love for us and not our own wants and desires alone (John 14:23).

We learn to have real compassion where we do not just pray for the needy but actually do something about it and we stop making excuses.

We do not hide behind religion and positioning but see all men as equal, we have faith and we have the love of God and work out of that Love (Ephesians 1:15).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you God that you love me so much you want to teach me how to truly love. I am so willing to learn and renew myself so I can shine out and be salt and light for you.

John 21 v 17…..He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep

DIG for Saturday the 9th of April…..two types of love…..John 21 v 15

And today we have the third in Sean’s series…..

The last two digs we have been looking at the love of God; let us now look at that in the life of an individual, let us look at Peter.

Jesus had risen and was alive.

He had appeared to the disciples, including Peter and now on the shore, at dawn, on the Lake of Tiberius Jesus appears again and we see a great catch of fish (showing God’s provision and abundance).

After the breakfast Jesus turns to Peter and asks does He love him.

In the English this says very little but in the Greek (and even the Aramaic) there are two distinct words for love at play here.

One word, in the Greek ‘agape’ means a spiritual love, a love not based on feelings but on a response to a relationship with God, a love based on ‘breath’ that is the Spirit.

Now that is a love that is pleased and happy and full, never sad or angry.

Peter however responds with the Greek word ‘phileo’, this is the Love one holds for a friend or a brother based solely on the depth of emotion.

So in effect this love can cease when it reaches its carnal limit, this is a carnal love.

Jesus asks three times does Peter love him and three times Peter can only respond in the carnal way.

The third time however Jesus meets Peter where he is at and asks if Peter loves him as a friend, brother or neighbour, but not in a spiritual way.

Now note I know we have covered this in a dig before but as a reminder and as part of looking at love we cannot cover this enough.

God’s love met Peter so can meet us where we are at.

Peter even then was called to be one that would feed lambs (new Christians) and sheep (mature Christians).

But Peter did not have to be at the stage where he was seen to be all holy and righteous (though he was).

In time God would change Peter’s heart and renew his mind, for later in life Peter could state of both kinds of Love:

‘Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently…’in 1 Peter 1 v 22

Jesus met Peter where He was at and because of the cross and His finished work Jesus could love in a whole way that man before him with no grief, no pain; solid love of acceptance knowing that that love would work in and through Peter.

This is a love pure without limits and constant; a love that showed how the Father (God) loved us.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you love me, not based on what I have done but on your finished work. You love me lord and you can renew my mind so I can get to love you the same way you love me”.

John 21 v 15…..So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs