DIG for Saturday the 13th of January…..still relevant today…..Proverbs 17 v 22

As I lover and student of the Word of God I have often been asked what is so special about the Bible, asked why I still study the Bible today.

Surely the Bible (written thousands of years ago) is no longer relevant to us today people will tell me.

I (obviously) completely disagree with this assessment.

Science is now telling us that our spoken words have creative power to influence our lives; the Bible told us that a long time ago (Proverbs 18 v 21).

Science is now telling us that our thoughts have creative power over our physical bodies; the Bible said that a long time ago (Proverbs 23 v 7).

Science is now telling us that optimistic and happy people suffer less illness and disease than negative and pessimistic people; the Bible told us that a long time ago (Proverbs 17 v 22).

God’s Word is the truth and as such is as relevant today as it has always been.

Truth is truth, no matter when it was written, and truth is still truth even if thousands of years have passed.

We can be assured that the Bible is still a relevant part of our lives today.

We need to read, study and meditate upon the Word, upon the truth inspired by the Living God.

Please don’t let anyone tell you that the Bible is old, out of date and irrelevant; it is in fact quite the opposite.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that your Word is as relevant today as it was when it was original written”.

Proverbs 17 v 22…..A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones

DIG for Friday the 12th of January…..take a step of faith into your healing…..John 5 v 9

In my DIG yesterday I wrote about the account of Jesus healing the man at the pool of Bethesda.

I wrote of the need to take responsibility and ‘do something’ to help manifest our healing.

I think I need to clarify this a little; we need to take a step of faith, believing that we are healed.

In this account we see Jesus telling the man the following; to rise, to take up his bed and to walk (John 5 v 8).

In verse 9 we read something similar, however it is important to read this carefully, as sometimes what is missing from the Word is as important as what is there!

We read that he did take up his bed and he did walk, but we read nothing about his rising.

What we read is that he was made whole.

I believe that this tells us that he was healed as he was rising up!

He was healed as he took a step of faith and moved into his healing; he was healed as he was rising up.

Now this is only one model of healing that Jesus used, but it is a model where we see a step of faith involved in healing.

In a sense it is similar to the woman with the issue of blood where Jesus tells the woman that it was her faith that made her whole (Matthew 9 v 20 to 22).

In faith, she acted and took a step towards her healing.

At times I believe that we need to walk out in faith and ‘do something’ to aid the manifestation of our healing.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I see many models of healing in the Word and thank you that your will for my life is supernatural health”.

John 5 v 9…..And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath

 

 

DIG for Thursday the 11th of January….take some responsibility for your own life…..John 5 v 8

I’ve been thinking about the account where Jesus heals the man at the pool of Bethesda, and also issues around personal responsibility that we can see in this account (John 5 v 1 to 9).

Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed; the man then made an excuse as to why he was not, blaming other people in fact.

Jesus then told him to do something, and it was at this point, when the man actually moved that he was healed.

Now, I am not saying that healing from Jesus is conditional; the Word says that by His stripes we were healed (1 Peter 2 v 24).

However we do have a responsibility over our actions to help make our healing manifest, and also to keep the healing we have received.

There are natural and spiritual laws that we are required to adhere to in this life.

Yes, we have been healed by the stripes of Jesus, however if we continue to think we are ill, speak out that we are ill, eat too much, drink too much and take no exercise our healing may not be made manifest.

Or we may see healing manifest but if we continue in our bad thinking and bad behaviours we may not see our healing manifest for long!

So, I hope you can see that I am not saying we have to perform or work to be healed, however we do have some responsibility to see our healing made manifest and stay.

In recent months I have recognised that my weight was a health issue.

So, I started telling myself that I was lean and fit, and that I did not need to eat so much, however I also required to take responsibility for my behaviour and actions.

Used together, my thinking, speaking and actions are making a difference in my life.

We all have personal responsibility for our thoughts, words and also actions; taking responsibility will help us immeasurably in our life.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you loved me enough to give me free will, and thank you that I can take responsibility for my own life”.

John 5 v 8…..Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk

DIG for Wednesday the 10th of January…..I’m sure it’s in there somewhere…..Galatians 5 v 22 and 23

As a man who reads and studies the Word quite a lot, I think I have an understanding of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5 v 22 and 23).

I know what they are and what each one means.

However at times, and you may feel the same, I just think some of them are not there!

I’ve just had a 30-minute call with my current insurance company, with 5 different people (on hold most of the time), to be told I cannot get a new quote.

And now my keyboard is ‘playing up’ so that I’m missing letters when I type this!

Now when I’ve read Galatians 5 v 22 and 23 before I was sure I saw longsuffering (or patience) in there.

I realise however that I do not need more patience, I need to work out the patience that I already have.

The Lord has placed in my born again spirit all the patience I will ever need (as well as all the love, joy, peace etc).

We are so fortunate to have all we need in our spirit; the key to life is working out (or manifesting) these things.

And the key to manifesting patience (and anything else from our spirit) is an understanding of Jesus and what He has done for us and to us.

Peter wrote that we have already been given all we need for life and godliness (including patience) through the knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 1 v 3).

So in order to display more patience we do not try to be patient, we gain more understanding about Jesus.

So, I’m now away to read my Bible for a while!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have already given me all I need for life and godliness”.

Galatians 5 v 22 and 23…..But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law

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 Monday the 8th of January…..God wants you to have a very good year…..3 John 2

Happy New Year everyone: I trust and pray that you will be in health and prosperous in 2018.

I can say this as that is precisely what God the Father wants for you!

I’ve just come back from India, and had the good fortunate to preach on numerous occasions, and one of the verses that I used many times was 3 John 2.

3 John 2 is very good news for everyone, and the people I preached for in India were blessed by this message.

No matter where you are in the world, no matter what sex you are and no matter how much money you have (or don’t have), God the Father wants you to live in health and prosperity (3 John 2).

This is the message of the Gospel, the message of Jesus.

He came to bring us life in abundance, and healing and prosperity are both included in abundance (John 10 v10).

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, and his works include sickness and poverty (1 John 3 v 8).

God the Father sent Jesus for every one of us, so in a real sense He sent health and prosperity to us all at the same time.

Jesus came for all men, so healing and prosperity is for all men, and that includes you.

Do not exclude yourself from His abundance, please do not forget any of His benefits (Psalm 103 v 2).

Health and prosperity are gifts from God, gifts that each one of us can receive, open and enjoy.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you lord that above all things you want me to live in health and prosperity”.

3 John 2…..Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth

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 14th of December…..you can hear from God any time you want…..2 Timothy 3 v 16

I’ve just been watching an episode on ‘Wolf Hall’ on the BBC and feel eternally grateful that I am alive at this time!

In this episode a man was burnt at the stake for reading aloud, in church, an English translation of the Bible.

I think we often forget that men and woman died in order for us to have the Bible in our own language.

The Bible has not always been as freely available as it is today!

I also think that on the whole we do not value the Bible enough.

What we have in our hands is the Word of God, literally God breathed for men to write down so that we can read it.

We have in our hands a message from God any time that we want; we do not have to ask God to speak to us, we are simply required to open the Bible to hear from Him at the time of our choosing.

Too many of us are waiting for ‘a word from God’ when we can read one for ourselves at any time.

Now I am not saying that it is not good to hear from God, but we do not need to wait.

It is our responsibility to read God’s Word and hear from Him.

The Bible is freely available to us in many formats; we can read or we can listen.

There is really no excuse to not hear from God in this day and age.

Many men and women have died wanting the freedom that we have; a freedom that many of us take for granted.

Go on, open up the Word and listen to what God has to say to you today.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word and thank you for the freedom that we have to read and study your Word”.

2 Timothy 3 v 16…..All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

DIG for Wednesday the 13th of December…..the shepherds were people of influence and importance…..Luke 2 v 12

For many years I used to wonder why the angel of the Lord and the heavenly host announced the birth of Jesus to a bunch of shepherds.

I actually wondered why they did not announce the birth of the Lord to people if influence and importance.

It is only recently that I have discovered (through rightly dividing the Word) that the shepherds were actually people of influence and importance.

We know the Word tells us that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.

Too many people however still think that He was born in stable, even though the Word does not say this!

The Word tells us He would be born at Migdal Eder (Micah 5:2 and 4:8).

Migdal Eder was the watchtower of the flock, the place at Bethlehem where the Temple shepherds looked after the temple flock; the flock that ‘produced’ the sacrificial lambs for the essential temple sacrifices.

These shepherds were people of influence and importance; they were the Temple shepherds, the men who knew all about sacrificial lambs!

The angel of the Lord said they would know Jesus from a sign, with the sign being that He was wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Why would this be a sign?

Well, when the sacrificial lambs were born the Temple shepherds examined them and if they were perfect they would be wrapped in swaddling clothes to keep them perfect!

Jesus was the perfect and last sacrificial lamb, and He was ‘inspected’ by the very special shepherds at His birth.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus, our perfect and best sacrificial lamb”.

Luke 2 v 12…..And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger

DIG for Tuesday the 12th of December…..how many wise men…..Matthew 2 v 1

Well, I was hoping to write some DIGs about how ‘wrong’ the narrative about the birth of Jesus really is, but I’ve not got round to it yet (see DIG on December 1st).

My big ‘new’ revelation this year is why we have such an emphasis on the 3 wise men coming to see Jesus at His birth.

Looking at the Word we can clearly see that the wise men actually came to see Jesus when he was about 18 or 24 months old, and they actually came when He was home in Nazareth.

The Bible does not tell us how many wise men there were, but tradition says three (Matthew 2 v 1).

The Bible says the wise men met Jesus as a young child (look at the Greek) and not a baby (Matthew 2 v 11).

The Bible tells us that Jesus was taken home to Nazareth after going to Jerusalem, and that was where the wise men met Him (Matthew 2 v 11 and Luke 2 v 22 and 39).

So why is tradition so strong in telling us that the 3 Wise Men were in the stable at the birth of Jesus.

I believe that the Lord told me the answer to this question; it is to take away from the significance of the shepherds.

If we look at the Word we can see that the only people to see Jesus at his birth, other than Mary and Joseph, were the shepherds.

And if we understand whom these shepherds were we could see why Jesus was born, we get an amazing piece of typology about the mission of Jesus.

If we understand about the shepherds we can see that Jesus was born to die!

More later!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that we can read the truth about the birth of Jesus in your Word”.

Matthew 2 v 1…..Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem