DIG for Tuesday the 9th of January…..relationships, that’s the real treasure in life…..Hebrews 10 v 24

I completed a rather interesting task this evening while waiting for Lydia to come out from her swimming training.

While reading a ‘self help’ book I meditated on a question from the author; what would I like people to say at my funeral and how would I like to be remembered?

I thought about this for a while and then wrote some comments.

Interestingly none of my comments were about being a success in business or career, nothing about the size of my house or possessions, or the amount of money I made.

They were all about people; how I related to them, how they saw me, and which of my characteristics and values were important to them.

This should not have been a surprise as we were created to be in relationships, with our God and with other people.

We are relational beings.

We are not meant to live in isolation.

The really important things in life are all to do with other people; with people we love and people who love us.

At the end of the day material possessions (as nice and comfortable as they make life) are not important, what we think about others and what others think about us are the vital things in life.

Relationships are the real treasures in life.

I thought about my relationship with the Lord, with my family and with my friends and felt a glow inside.

My relationships make me happy and make life worth living.

So I challenge you tonight to ask yourself the same question, what do you want people to say at your funeral and how do you want to be remembered?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you created me as a relational being, and thank you for all the wonderful relationships in my life”.

Hebrews 10 v 24…..And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works


DIG for Saturday the 16th of September……it is all about relationships…..Ephesians 5 v 21

I started reading the next passage I will be preaching on this week and suddenly realised one of the important aspects of what I was reading.

I’ve just preached through Ephesians chapter 5 and looking to start chapter 6, and it hit me that we are learning all about relationships.

One of the best things to have in life is great relationships.

Life without other people is meaningless.

We were not made to live in isolation, and one of the wonders in life is gong through this journey with people you love and who love you.

In this aspect I am blessed beyond measure.

Sometimes however relationships are difficult, and it would help us all if we were to learn more about living in relationship with others.

The Word does this for us.

I’ve been teaching that as we learn more about grace and the finished work of Jesus (Ephesians 1 to 3 and Galatians 1 to 3 for example), we learn to live more out of the spirit and for others, rather than out of the flesh and for self.

This if course will lead to better relationships, if we prefer the needs of others over our own, if we live out of the spirit rather than out of the flesh.

Much of what we read in the latter part of Ephesians is how to live out the truth of grace, how to walk in the light, and this is all about relationships.

We read about marriage, about parents and children, about workers and bosses, and about submitting one to another.

As we learn more about grace our relationships will improve, that is what Paul is telling us through the letter to the Ephesians.

So how do you improve your relationships; you learn more about grace and the finished work of Jesus, easy!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word and thank you that it is the understanding of the Word that will lead to lasting and permanent change in my life”.

Ephesians 5 v 21…..Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God

DIG for Wednesday the 11th of January…..relationship not religion, that is Christianity…..John 2 v 11

I have been reminded this morning about the account of Jesus turning water into wine, the first of His miracles recorded in the Gospels.

This is a wonderful picture, an amazing piece of typology that shows us about the mission of Jesus.

Many people think that Christianity is just another religion, one among many.

But Christianity, or I should say true Christianity, is not a religion, but is a relationship.

When Jesus turned water into wine He desecrated the holy pots that the Jews required for their ritual purification.

They needed the pots for their religious ceremonies and religious observance.

With this action Jesus was telling the world that religion (the actions of man that men think are required to reach God) was no longer required.

He was telling the world that He was here and that God had reached out to man and now relationship was the key.

True Christianity is nothing to do with religious observance and religious ceremony, although you would not think that looking into our churches today.

True Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus, about love from Jesus and love for Jesus, and subsequently about actions flowing from that love.

Actions and deeds and religious observance in order to be loved by God are just a waste of time and effort.

They are no longer required; what is required is a relationship with Jesus.

Christianity is that simple, all that is required is a true relationship with Jesus.

Don’t let any man complicate this!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I am in relationship with Jesus and thank you for everything that I receive because of this”.

John 2 v 11…..This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him

DIG for Tuesday the 6th of October…..Jesus didn’t take everybody up the mountain…..James 5 v 16

One thing I hate in church is wee cliques forming and shutting other people out, however in church and life in general we all need an intimate group of friends that we share trust and respect with.

We all need those special people that we can share openly and honestly with, people that we can listen to in return.

I believe that this is what is being spoken about in James 5 v 16.

This is about believers, with mutual, love, trust and respect getting together and sharing and caring for one another, talking about issues affecting their life and helping one another through.

This is about intimacy and openness, and I have to be honest and say that you do not do this with just anyone.

Even Jesus had what many would call on inner circle, where He seemed to be more intimate and open than with all people.

Jesus did not take all the disciples up the mountain to see His transfiguration.

Jesus did not let everyone lay with his head on His chest.

Jesus did have a small group within the disciples that He trusted more and spent more intimate time with.

If Jesus needed it, then we need it too.

I’ve often said that Christianity is not a solo occupation, normally in the context of the wider church family.

As well as the wider family we need an “inner circle” to share and car with; this is living out James 5 v 16.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for those people that you have put around me for mutual comfort, exhortation and edification”.

James 5 v 16…..Confess your faults one to another, and pray for another, that ye might be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much

DIG for Friday the 8th of November…..simply follow Him, that’s all He requires…..John 1 v 43

It is really easy to be a Christian, or rather it should be!

Philip became a disciple of Jesus and we can see the “role profile” used by Jesus in this verse.

Jesus simply says “Follow me”.

He does not say “turn from your sinful ways, straighten yourself up, get yourself qualified and then you can follow me”.

He says “follow me”.

That is what He is saying to people today; to people who have never known Him and to people who profess to know Him already.

Whether you are a believer or not He simply wants you to follow Him, or become one of His disciples (that is what the Greek word for follow means).

That is what He is saying to you right now; be my disciple.

A disciple follows his master, in terms of learning from him and about him.

That should be your focus in your life as a Christian, or as I saw in a book recently “a follower of the Way”.

The focus should not be upon being better, trying to stop sinning or making yourself right before God; the focus should always be on Jesus.

Life becomes easier with that mindset.

Life becomes easier as you move from religion into relationship with Him.

Life is easier simply following Him.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus and His finished work, thank you that I am His disciple”.

John 1 v 43…..The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Peter, and saith unto him, Follow me

DIG for Monday the 26th of August…..He had to go speak to the woman at the well…..John 4 v 4

I wrote recently (Fri 23rd) about the encounter that Jesus had with the woman taken in adultery (John 8 v 1 to 11).

Another encounter with a different woman is one of my favourite accounts of Jesus.

His meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well is a wonderful picture of how Jesus loves everyone, and how He wants relationship with everyone.

The woman in this account was the lowest of the low; she was in the dregs of the society that she lived in.

She was a woman, a Samaritan and a dirty sinner; she was an adulteress.

The amazing thing about this meeting is that I believe jesus orchestrated it; He went through Samaria deliberately to meet her.

Now, I know it does not say that explicitly in the Word, however there was no actually logistical reason for Jesus to go the route He took, and the Word does say that he felt the need to go through that land (John 4 v 4).

My understanding is that His need was to meet that woman and change her life for ever!

A good Jewish boy like Jesus should not have even spoke to this woman however He initiated the conversation. He changed her life and turned her into an evangelist (John 4 v 28 and 29).

This is a picture showing us that Jesus wants to have relationship with all people, in all levels of society, from the lowest to the highest (He spoke to Nicodemus just before this encounter).

He wants to change the lives of every single person on this earth, just as God wants everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3 v 9).

I thank the Lord that He came looking for me and I found him; aren’t you glad He came for you?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus wanted a relationship with me”.

John 4 v 4….And he needs must go through Samaria