Posts tagged with "reflection"
Tuesday, January 1, 2013 1:59:52 AM
May all in power
Fear you, my king!
May all who rule
Put justice and righteousness first
Not political gain or favourable reviews.
Teach our government
To reign under you
And the godly will flourish
But the wicked will be punished.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013 1:55:43 AM
Arise O church
Stand up, you people of God
Walking in the glory of Christ
Millions live in the dark
But you, you are the light
The glory of God shining through you
The world will come to you
Sons and daughters you thought were lost
Nations and governors
Traders and merchants
Will ask: "How can I live?"
Understand you people of God
Take hold, Bride of Christ
Arise and meet your destiny
Go and shine your light
Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:04:57 AM
John answered their questions, saying, “I baptise you with water, but someone is coming soon who is much greater than I am- so much greater that I'm not even worthy to be his slave or untie the strap of his sandals. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
John confronts people directly with the nature of sin. He warns them not to assume that they are safe from God's judgement just because they are descendants of Abraham. God is ready to judge every tree that does not produce good fruit.
People ask what they should do to be saved. John replies that they are to give to the poor, tax collectors must not steal for people and soldiers must be honest.
John recognises that he is not the Messiah. Rather, one is coming who is much greater than John. John isn't worthy to undo his sandal straps. The Messiah will baptise with fire and the Holy Spirit.
John is able to confront sin and religious hypocrisy and yet remains humble as he does this. Even though thousands are coming to him for baptism and to hear his preaching, John recognises that he is just preparing the way for the Messiah.
John's ministry never becomes about John. John is always pointing to someone greater.
That must be my attitude also.
Lord Jesus, please increase in my life, for your glory not mine. Help me to point people to you in every situation. Amen.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 12:24:15 AM
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Paul commands us to rejoice always in the Lord. We must live lives of gentleness.
Anxiety is cured by prayer in everything together with thanksgiving. When we do that we can know the peace of God which passes all understanding.
In every situation we are to look to the Lord. Our focus must always be on Him because it is He that we serve.
If we are feeling down we must rejoice.
If we feel anxious we must pray with thanksgiving.
Our lives are all about Jesus.
Lord help me to focus on you in every situation in my life. Thank you that in the midst of storms, you are my peace. Amen.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 3:39:44 AM
God has come to save me
The Lord reached down to rescue
I will rejoice
Yes I will sing
Come and sing with me
Let's dance in the street
The war with God is over
Sin has been defeated
Death has been conquered
The Lord He has saved us
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 3:38:19 AM
Sing you people of God
Salvation has come
The anger of God is lifted
No conviction recorded
For God's love is victorious
The Saviour is coming
He will delight in you
Rejoice over you with singing
He will lift up the heavy-hearted
And reconcile the estranged
Everyone will say
Praise the God of heaven
Thursday, December 6, 2012 3:43:21 AM
Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River preaching that people should be baptised to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven,
During the reign of Tiberius, John the Baptist started preaching from place to place. His message was simple- people needed to turn away from their sins and follow God's way. He baptised them as a sign of this repentance.
Luke points to Isaiah's prophecy of a voice shouting in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord. According to this prophecy, all people will see the salvation sent from God.
Luke lists the powerful rulers at the beginning of the passage to make the point that this really happened in a particular place in time and in a specific location. This is not a “Once upon a time” but a real event.
There really was a man named John who called people to repent. There really was a man called Jesus, who was also the Son of God, who brought salvation into the world.
If you have never seen this in the past, now is the time to do what John exhorted his hearers. Turn away from your sin and follow God's way. Ask Jesus to give you His salvation and make you a part of His kingdom.
Thank you Lord for this wonderful message of salvation and repentance. I turn away from my own selfish life to follow you today. Amen.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 12:48:30 AM
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding
Paul thinks of the Christians in Philippi with great joy and thanksgiving because they have supported him in his mission.
Paul prays for them that their love will overflow more and more and that they will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. He prays that they will be filled with the fruit of salvation, a righteous character.
The church in Philippi was special to Paul. He speaks of them with tenderness and affection. When we walk with the Lord, we should stir up the same affection in the hearts of those that we come into contact with- whether Christians or not.
Paul was thankful because they shared the task of spreading the good news. But he also prayed that they would grow in love and in understanding so that their character would be seen by others and bring glory to the Lord.
As christians, there is always room for growth We never get to the stage that we can say “I've arrived.”
Help me Lord to grow in grace, in love and in knowledge of you. Amen.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 5:44:13 AM
“Look! I am sending my messenger and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant whom you look for so eagerly is surely coming” says the Lord of Heaven's Armies.
The Lord will send His messenger to come before the Lord to prepare the way. Then the Lord will suddenly appear in the Temple.
The Lord will be like a blazing fire to refine metal, a bleach to clean clothing. He will purify the Levites so they can once again offer acceptable sacrifices.
John the Baptist saw himself as the messenger preparing the way of the Lord. The Lord certainly came to His Temple.
We don't easily see Jesus as the blazing fire or the strong bleach that purifies. But this is exactly what He is. By winning our hearts with His love, He embarks on a life-long process of cleaning us up.
At times He comes as Comforter, at other times as Exhorter. But always He aims to make us like Him- pure and holy. The aim is to make us into living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.
Lord I recognise that you are changing me day by day. Please help me to co-operate with you in this work. Amen.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:58:24 PM
“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
The signs of the kingdom of God will be seen even in the skies. On the earth the nations will be in anguish, apprehensive of what is coming. Then Jesus will come with power and glory.
Just like the fig tree shows the seasons, the events on the earth will show that the kingdom is near.
The followers of Jesus must be careful not to be weighted down by the cares of this life- neither in anxiety nor in overindulging the flesh. We must always be alert ready for the coming judgements.
There are many differing interpretations of this passage, but one thing is clear: we must be ready for whatever might happen.
God is in control of history and the affairs of the world. This age is only a temporary thing. Jesus will return and bring the whole of creation under his reign. It will be messy and unpleasant, but we need to be ready and stand firm for Him.
Unlike the people of the world, we must not invest all of our dreams and ambitions in this world. We look to a different king and an eternal kingdom.
Our treasures must be stored up in heaven and not just on earth.
Lord prepare me to stand before you. Show me how to give my whole life to you and how to invest all of my being into your kingdom. Amen.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:39:06 AM
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?
Paul obviously has a great affection for the church at Thessalonica. They give him great joy and he prays for the opportunity to go and see them and build up their faith.
Paul prays for the Lord to make their love for one another increase and that they will be blameless and holy in the presence of God when the Lord returns.
We can appropriate these prayers of Paul for ourselves and for our church.
Who doesn't want to be full of joy and love and so strong in faith that we are found holy and blameless on the day of the Lord's return?
Lord Jesus, let your love and joy overflow in your church today and always. Teach us how to be holy, even blameless, in your presence. Amen.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 1:09:56 AM
Lord I love you
I will praise you always.
You are the one I trust
It's you who saves me
Teach me Lord
the path of life
guide me as I go
Help me live right
Overlook and forgive
My sins and errors
Your love is a light
Help me shine
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 1:03:17 AM
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In this place, desolate and without men or animals, in all its towns there will be pastured for shepherds to rest their flocks.”
When many of the people of Israel were taken off to exile in Babylon the land seemed to be left desolate. Hope seemed impossible.
But God promises to restore the land. There will be pastures and farms and towns. Israel will again be a productive land, home to the people of the Lord.
The throne will be restored to David's line as the Lord promised centuries earlier and Judah will be a place of safety.
Sometimes it is very hard to sustain hope or faith in the face of overwhelming opposition.
The evidence of our eyes is that desolation is all around and there is no hope of overcoming.
God is bigger than our biggest enemy or our more challenging situation. He overcame the biggest superpower of the days to restore His people to their land.
Nothing is impossible with God.
You are a mighty God. Please help me to put my trust in you and enable me to see that whatever the challenges I face, you are greater still.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:40:00 PM
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
Jesus is interrogated by Pilate prior to being sent for crucifixion. Pilate seems confused by the man who is charged with being a king of the Jews.
Jesus tells him that His kingdom is of a different order to earthly kingdoms. It is not won by physical force, but originates from a different place and with different values.
This description of Jesus' conversation with Pilate is very revealing. Pilate is the agent of the world's most effective and brutal empire. Jesus is, seemingly, just another working class Jewish rabble-rouser. Yet, it is Pilate who is on the defensive and Jesus who is in control.
Jesus' kingdom is greater than the kingdoms of this world. His kingdom does not depend on military might nor on political power. It is a spiritual force that quietly transforms one heart at a time, reforming whole nations from the inside out.
When we feel like we are in a minority in our society and apparently weak and powerless, that is the way it should be. But, the weakness of the Kingdom of God is ultimately stronger than the greatest powers this world can muster.
My Lord, I confess today that you are my King. You alone will I serve. Amen.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:04:52 AM
“I am the Alpha and the Omega- the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was and who is still to come- the Almighty One.”
The introduction to the Revelation says that it is as revelation from (or of) Jesus Christ. There is a blessing to everyone who reads these words out to the church, and to those who obey its message.
Jesus is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega. He set us free from our sins by dying for us. He made us into a kingdom of priests. He is coming soon, and all the nations of the world will mourn for him.
The message of Revelation is that God, our God who loved us so much that He sent His beloved Son to die for our sins, is in control. No matter how dominant evil seems to be in the world, Jesus is coming back to put it all to right.
When all the world is against us, God is for us. When evil people seem to triumph, God will have the last word.
The whole universe is awaiting the revelation of Christ, His return to the world and His ending of satan's power.
Lord Jesus, you are the beginning and the end. Help me to put my trust in you today, regardless of how the world appears. Amen.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 1:18:17 AM
The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; his words are on my tongue.
This short poem is recorded as the last words of David.
David was the one chosen by God to be king of Israel, and also the psalmist of Israel. He heard the voice of God.
God had said that a king who rules righteously over the land is like the morning light, the gleaming of sun after the rain.
God has made a covenant with David's family that will last forever. The godless are gathered up like weeds to be burnt.
If we follow God's ways and step up to the calling He has for us we will live lives of blessing. That doesn't mean that everything will be perfect according to our own preferences. David had his share of opposition and sin, but his life was blessed by the presence of God. David was also a blessing to his nation and to the world.
The key is to seek out God's purposes for our life. Then pursue it with all of our energy.
Lord you are the one who raised David from being a shepherd to being the king of his nation. Help me to see what purpose you have for me and give me the grace to pursue that purpose. Amen.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 3:17:47 AM
And let us not neglect our meeting together as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Under the old covenant the priests make sacrifices day after say, because these sacrifices can never take away our sins. But Jesus is both High Priest and sacrifice, a sacrifice that is effective for all time.
Jesus sits at God's right hand awaiting the time of judgement for his enemies. His offering makes us holy and works to write God's law on our heart.
Because of all this, we can now enter boldly into the presence of God with sincere hearts. Our guilty consciences have been cleansed by the blood of Christ. We need to spur one another on and encourage one another to hold firm.
The covenant under Christ is far superior to the old covenant. We have a perfect High Priest who is our perfect sacrifice and He takes away all of our sins. There is no need to offer repeated sacrifices because the one sacrifice of Christ deals with our sin once and for all.
We no longer have to fear God as the angry judge. When we come to Christ all of our guilt is taken away and so we can enter into God's presence with confidence.
This is an awesome statement. The mighty, perfect, holy God accepts us because of the blood of Christ. We are no longer objects of wrath, but beloved sons and daughters of the Most High.
Glorious Saviour, you have paid the price for my sin. Thank you so much! Amen.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 3:03:16 AM
“As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”
At the end of the age, Michael will arise to rescue the people of God. It will be a time of great distress but everyone whose name is written in the book will be delivered. Those who are dead will be raised to either everlasting life or everlasting contempt.
Daniel then sees two other men on either side of the river. One asks the man clothed in linen when these things will happen. The man replies “A time, times and half a time.” Daniel doesn't understand so he asks the man, who tells him the words are sealed until the time of the end.
Until the times come to pass, the pure will be pure and the wicked will be wicked. But at the end Daniel will rise to life and receive his inheritance.
We don't know when the end times will come to their fruition. We do know that the death and the resurrection of Jesus inaugurated the end times and signalled the beginning of God's reign.
We can be sure that God is in control of the fate of nations, not the politicians and world leaders. Because God is in control and God is good then we live in hope not despair. The wicked seem to prosper but God will judge everyone.
For those of us who follow Jesus there is the awesome promise given to Daniel that we will rise from death and be given our inheritance. Treasures are being stored up in heaven!
Father I look around me at the events in the world and it is easy to lose heart. Help me to remember that you are in charge and your ways will prevail. Protect me from despair and let hope in you reign in my heart. Amen.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 12:26:06 AM
Who built this place?
Who guards the city?
If God's not here
It's all a waste!
You toil and work and strive
And scrimp and save
Two jobs to pay the bills
Why work when you don't live?
God provides your dollars
He will pay the bills
Serve Him, trust Him
Do the work He sets for you
Let Him look after the rest.
You've got kids you never see
You're too busy providing for them
That you never have time to hug them
Foolish man- enjoy this gift from God
Monday, November 5, 2012 3:50:06 AM
The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
After some time, Naomi sends Ruth off to arrange to marry Boaz. Boaz was a relative of Naomi and had been very generous in allowing to glean at the edges of the fields as well as protecting her from the workers.
Ruth goes and lays at the feet of Boaz while he is asleep.
Boaz is a relative of Naomi and has an obligation to care for her. He decides to marry Ruth.
In the fullness of time, Ruth bears a son, Obed who it turns out will be David's grandfather.
Ruth is a clear picture of God's provision and protection for these women, Naomi and Ruth. As they try to be faithful to God in their humble ways, God is arranging events to bring about his plans for them.
Ruth is the foreigner who should not be part of Israel's story. Yet through her faithfulness, and God's grace, she finds herself in a favoured position she had no right to expect.
When we simply walk with God day by day, just being faithful to what he shows us to do, there is incredible power in that. The Lord is able to take the least of us and do amazing things.
The only factor is our willingness to take those risky steps of faith.
Lord please help me to trust you today so that I can do the things you are asking of me. Amen.
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