DIG for Monday the 19th of February…..why split your life into different sections…..2 Corinthians 3 v 6

I’m just back from a Christian business conference and am working my through the vast amounts of notes I took.

For me one of the best points was the reinforcement that we are all in “full time ministry”.

Everything we do should be for the Lord and His glory, not just what we class as ministry.

I run a consultancy business, and before that I had a secular career; at the same time I was involved in ministry and pastoring, and I still pastor a church today.

For a long time I used to separate these activities into “secular” and “ministry” but what I am coming to realise is that they are both part of the same walk and same life.

I now understand that we do not need to separate or classify different parts of our lives, instead we should use all aspects to glorify God.

Whatever we do for a living and wherever we do this, we are in “ministry”.

We are all able ministers of the New Covenant according to Scripture (2 Corinthians 3 v 6).

This verse does not state it counts when we are doing “ministry” things; it means at all times.

I have a great friend who used to run a construction business and was often asked when he was going to go into “full time ministry”.

My friend replied, “I started full time ministry the second I was born again”.

This was a fantastic response and the same is true for all of us, no matter in what sphere we “work”.

Never let anyone make you feel like a second-class citizen if you “work” in the “secular” arena, you are also working in “full time ministry”.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you lord that you have made me an able minister of the New Covenant, and thank you that I am working in ministry wherever I am”.

2 Corinthians 3 v 6…..Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life

DIG for Tuesday the 5th of December…..what they tried to get under the Old we now have under the New…..Philippians 4 v 13

I noticed today a few Scripture references inside the cover of my Bible this morning; I’d not seen them for a while!

They were Psalm 22 v 3, then Psalm 16 v 11 and Nehemiah 8 v 10.

I remembered that this was a model for me to use to receive strength.

If I worshiped the Lord I would receive His presence (Psalm 22 v 3), I would then receive joy through His presence (Psalm 16 v 11) and through this joy would receive strength (Nehemiah 8 v 10).

Now this may sound good, and I thought it was at the time when I wrote these verse on the inside cover of my Bible.

However today I realised that I don’t need this model anymore, as these verses are Old Covenant verses and I live under grace, under the New Covenant.

As a born again, spirit filled believer I already have joy, as part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5 v 22).

As a born again, spirit filled believer I always have His presence as He says He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13 v 5).

Because of His presence I now have the strength to achieve all things (Philippians 4 v 13).

Now I am not saying we should not worship, of course we should, however we now worship because we have strength, joy and His presence, not to receive these things.

What I used to try and achieve through worship (His presence, joy and strength) I now have all the time as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus and His finished work.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Your continual presence, for Your strength and for the fruit of the Spirit”.

Philippians 4 v 13…..I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me

DIG for Wednesday the 18th of October…..do I need to sell all my goods and give the money all away…..Matthew 19 v 21

I got a comment after the DIG yesterday asking if I could maybe write about some of Jesus’ other “difficult” messages and comments, so I’m planning to write about some over the next few days.

So, does Jesus want us all to sell all our goods and give the money away to the poor?

Well, most Christians will say no; they will say this is a picture for us showing that we can never be perfect through our actions.

And this is a correct understanding of this passage (Matthew 19 v 16 to 22).

The young man felt that he was following the law; he felt he was good enough through his own efforts.

But Jesus pointed out that he was not perfect, and just in case he did not believe Him, Jesus “added on” one extra work.

By telling the man to sell all his goods and give the money away Jesus was saying you could never achieve perfection yourself.

The law was always too hard to fulfil, and Jesus just made it even harder for this religious young man.

Jesus was pointing out that people needed a Saviour, that they could not achieve perfection in their own efforts.

Jesus never expected men to take this verse literally and apply it to believers.

As New Covenants believers we need to understand that we do not take literally everything that Jesus said, that is not rightly dividing the Word.

We are not under law and living under the Old Covenant, Jesus spoke most of His words in this context.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I live under grace and not under law”.

Matthew 19 v 21…..Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow 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 Saturday the 29th of July…..sitting not standing…..Hebrews 10 v 11 and 12

I don’t know about you but there is something great about getting home after you’ve done some work and sitting down on the settee with a coffee and a good book!

I’m sure you are the same; you sit down when you’ve done some work.

Under the law (the Old Covenant) priests had to work continually to deal with the sins of the people.

They could cover the sin but not deal with it completely (Hebrews 10 v 9).

So in Hebrews 10 v 11 we see that the priests are standing.

Yet in Hebrews 10 v 12 we see that after dealing with sin (once and once only) Jesus sat down.

This is a picture showing that Jesus’ work was finished, but the work of the priests was never finished.

The law could never completely deal with sin, but Jesus did!

Under the New Covenant (under grace) sin is not an issue for God any more; it has been dealt with once and for all (Hebrews 10 v 12).

Under grace (the New Covenant) sin has already been dealt with, so there are no more offerings required.

Jesus does not need to get off His seat to sort out sin ever again; He did it once and once only on the cross.

Law was always about what men had to do, grace is all about what Jesus has done.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you that I live under grace and not under law”.

Hebrews 10 v 11 and 12…..And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God

DIG for Saturday the 10th of June…..the New meeting the Old face-to-face…..Mark 14 v 62

In a recent sermon my wife Nunsy spoke about what she called one of the most important human encounters in the history of the world.

She was talking about Caiaphas (the high priest of the Old Covenant) meeting with Jesus (the High Priest of the New Covenant) prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus.

In this encounter we see a picture of the Old Covenant, just before passing away, meeting with the New Covenant.

The high priest was required under the Old Covenant in order to carry out the sacrifices for the people, and one of the high priests necessary accessories was his robe.

This robe was special, part of the accessories that was absolutely required by the high priest to carry out his duties.

This robe had to be perfect; the high priest was even warned not to rent his robe.

Once Caiaphas rent his robe in front of Jesus this was a picture that the high priest could not carry out his duties (Mark 14 v 63).

So, sin could not be covered and the people could not be forgiven, as was required by the Law and the Old Covenant.

But this was OK as the ultimate sacrifice, the new High Priest, was standing right in front of him ready to carry out His once-for-all sacrifice, ready to usher in the New Covenant.

Along with the New Covenant came a new priesthood, and the new (and only High Priest) of this covenant was Jesus.

Caiaphas could tear all the clothes he wanted as his robe and his sacrifices were no longer required.

Jesus’ finished work on the cross was perfect, ushering in the New Covenant and ending the requirements of the Law.

What an amazing picture/type/shadow showing us about Jesus.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I now live under the New Covenant with a new High Priest called Jesus”.

Mark 14 v 62…..And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven

DIG for Friday the 26th of May…..arms out, welcoming you into the Kingdom and the New Covenant….. John 19 v 30

Having stopped for a wee rest from work this morning, I’ve started watching a program about pilgrimage, and at the moment the presenter is being shown through Lincoln Cathedral.

The minister there was talking about the shape of the cathedral as a cross being a picture of the out stretched arms of Jesus on the cross welcoming us into the Kingdom.

I’ve never ‘seen’ that before but I now love that picture!

When my granddaughter was younger I used to open my arms in welcome, inviting her to toddle, and then later, to run to me.

My outstretch arms were a sign for her that I was ready for hugs and cuddles, and she would run over without a second thought.

It was a sign of welcome, and I now see the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross as the most amazing sign of welcome.

As Jesus died His arms were wide-open, not just welcoming you but also welcoming in the New Covenant.

I find it rather reassuring that Jesus had His arms open wide as He died and fulfilled the law and ended the Old Covenant.

Under the New Covenant everyone is welcome, be he or she Jew or Gentile, man or woman, slave or freeman.

The good news my friend is that Jesus is no longer on the cross, but His arms are still open wide, ready for you to toddle or run to Him.

Are you ready to run into those welcoming and loving arms, or are you in them already?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you for our welcome into the New Covenant”.

John 19 v 30…..When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost