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Everything and Everything

July 13th, 2018

One of my favourite verses of all time is Joshua 1:8. I have written about it a number of times on this blog. It says…

“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In this verse there are four key points that stand out to me…

1. Study God’s Word – study means “the devotion of time and attention to gaining knowledge of an academic subject, especially by means of books.” So devote time to God’s Word.

2. Meditate on it – other words to describe meditation are contemplation, considering, prayer, musing, ruminating. It is about thinking deeply.

3. Obey EVERYTHING in it – to walk with God we need to be obedient to His Word and His plans.

4. Promised blessing – prosper and succeed in EVERYTHING you do.

I like the way this verse uses the word everything twice. Obey everything to prosper in everything.

Food for thought.

God Bless,

Dave

Saved by grace

July 10th, 2018

Today’s verse of the day comes from 2 Timothy 1:9. It says…

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”

I like the way this single verse can be broken down to contain four key thoughts…

1. God saved us through Christ – Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Now we are called to a holy life.  God wants us to live a holy life. Leviticus 20:26 calls for us to be holy, because God is holy.

2. We didn’t deserve this – God chose to save us. Ephesians 2:9 says we cant take credit for our salvation. It is not because of our work, but Christ’s work in dying for our sin on the cross.

3. It was His plan from eternity – Our salvation was God’s plan before the beginning of time. Ephesians 2:10 tells us God planned works for us from etrnity. Good things for us to do in this life.

4. God shows us His grace in Christ – We are saved by grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8). The letters of G.R.A.C.E. can mean God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

2 Timothy 1:9 is another great verse that holds so much truth for us today.

God Bless,
Dave

Positive thinking and faith

July 8th, 2018

I am a fairly positive person. I wasn’t always that way, but over the years I have trained myself to think that way.

I would rather expect the best in faith and deal with things with God’s help if they don’t work out, rather than always expect the worst in all situations.

I read this definition of faith and positive thinking. I quite like it…

Positive thinking and faith are similar, but different. Positive thinking attempts to use your own power or an ambiguous higher power to fulfill your own personal agenda. Faith relies on God’s power. Positive thinking is all about your agenda and you manipulating your environment. Faith is all about God’s agenda and allowing God to fulfill His will and purpose for your life. Positive thinking is all about yourself and what you can get. Faith is all about God and what He can do through you.

I like the way it says faith and positive thinking are similar but different. Faith relies on and trusts in God. Positive thinking alone relies on your own efforts and your personal agenda.

Faith according to one of my Bible dictionaries is a…

 Certainty in the present and firm expectation for the future

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

For me, I have to be positive and faith filled being a Christian. I know God loves and care for me, Jesus saved me on the cross, I have a purpose for my life, God promises to supply my needs, and I have a future hope of heaven. How could I not be positive?

Mind you, not all Christians share my positive attitude. Some see the worst in every situation. At first I struggled with this, but I have found that many see the worst and pray for the situation.

While some others are too positive and don’t believe bad will happen to them. But sadly we live in a fallen world that is tainted by sin.

So positive thinking and faith is a good mixture for me, as long as I keep it balanced. I don’t think positively just for the sake of it and have unrealistic expectations. My positive thinking is based on my faith in the Creator of the universe, His power, His will and His love for me.

God Bless,
Dave

R.E.M.A.I.N. In Christ

June 30th, 2018

My latest sermon is online. It is titled, “R.E.M.A.I.N. in Christ.

It looked at the passage from John 15:1-5 and used the letters of the word remain to give us some help to stay on track.

Here are the main points…

R- Rest in the finished work of Christ – John 19:30

E – Endurance is vital – Hebrews 12:1-2

M – Maintain a close walk with the Lord – John 15:4

A – Aim to be a vehicle of blessing – 2 Corinthians 9:8-11

I – Imagine eternity with Christ – Philippians 3:20

N – Never allow yourself to be overcome by the world – John 16:33

You can find the full text here.

God Bless,
Dave

The Apostles healed many

June 12th, 2018

In the Book of Acts 5:12-16 there is a section titled, “The Apostles healed many” in the Bible. It says…

“12 The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. 14 Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women. 15 As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. 16 Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed.”

In this section we see that the Apostles healed many people who were brought to them at Solomon’s Colonade. It even says people were brought to them from surrounding villages.

Why was healing an important part of the early church? It seems there are miracles happening all the time. A number of people have asked me why over the years. Here are a few reasons I believe.

1. People sought God – there was an atmosphere of people really seeking God. They wanted to know the Lord and His will. There was a real hunger for the things of God.

2. Apostles teaching – people were really interested in the Apostles teaching. They wanted to learn more and more about God. In previous chapters we see the people were devoted to it.

3. Prayer – the early church was a place of constant prayer. We often read of people meeting together regularly at the Temple or in homes for prayer. They understood prayer is our lifeline to God.

4. Validation – the signs, wonders and miracles validated the Apostles teaching and preaching. They spoke of God’s plan for salvation through Christ and they backed it up with miracles to show God was with them.

5. God’s compassion – All the miraculous healing showed God’s love and compassion for suffering people. When miracles are taking place we see a God who is alive and active and cares for people in need.

6. Faith – there was a general atmosphere of faith. People were looking to God and believed that God was working through the Apostles. This is why they brought their friends and family for healing.

7. Salvation – this is ultimately why God is involved in our lives. He wants us all to be saved. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God does not want anyone to perish, but all to come to salvation. He wants us to know Him and spend eternity with him.

These are just some of the reasons why healing was such a big part of the early church. It is a big part of why signs, wonders and miracles still happen in some churches today.

God Bless,
Dave

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians sermon

June 10th, 2018

Hi all, my latest sermon is online now. It looked at Ephesians 1:15-23 and Paul’s heartfelt prayer for the Ephesians.

We saw that not only was it Paul’s heart for the Ephesians, but it is God’s heart for us today. We looked at six main points…

  1. Paul prayed for Spiritual Insight and Wisdom
  2. Paul prayed they would understand the confident hope
  3. Paul prayed they would understand the greatness of God’s power
  4. Paul prayed they would understand that Christ is above all things
  5. Paul prayed that they would understand that Christ is the head of the church
  6. Paul prayed that they would understand that we are Christ’s body

If you would like to see the full message, you can find it here.

God Bless,
Dave

What did God say about food?

June 9th, 2018

Ever wondered what God said about food and eating? He mentions it in the very first chapter of the Bible. Right after he created mankind.

Genesis 1:29 – Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food”

When we read that it looks like a pretty simple food plan. Eat these things and you will be eating the food God intended for us!

God Bless,
Dave

Real sharing

June 9th, 2018

In Acts 4:32-37 there is a great passage that shows real Christian community in the early church. It says…

32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. 33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. 36 For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37 He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.

There are several things that jumped out at me when I read this.

1. They were one heart and mind, so much so that they shared their possessions. As a result, nobody was in need.

2. The Apostles were able to focus on preaching the message of Christ and His resurrection. And blessing followed them all.

3. When they sold land or property they brought it to the Apostles to distribute to those in need. They didn’t decide themselves.

These are three really good things we can think about. I wonder how different our lives and churches would be if we lived more like the early church?

God Bless,
Dave

Four devotions, seven results

June 4th, 2018

In Acts 2 there is a section of Scripture that talks about a new community of believers that formed after Christ returned to heaven and the Holy Spirit came. It talks about the things they focused on and the results.

Acts 2:42-47 – All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity– 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

What are the four things they focused on as a new community?

  1. The Apostles teaching – this would have been the Old Testament, the teachings of Christ that they had heard, and the way they believe the new community of believers should live.
  2. Fellowship – this is about doing life together as a new community of believers. It would include helping each other, worshiping and praying together, getting to know each other, and being one in Christ.
  3. Sharing meals – this means everyday fellowship and sharing meals with one another including sharing communion. This is about deeper relationship more than just seeing people in church once a week.
  4. Prayer – prayer is our lifeline to God. When we pray alone we become closer to God. When we pray with others we get closer to each other and seek God’s blessings, help and direction together.

As a result of doing these four things, we see a number of results or blessings.

  1. Sense of awe – they were in awe of what God was doing in their midst.
  2. Signs and wonders – the Apostle performed miraculous signs, wonders and miracles.
  3. Regular meetings – the new community met together regularly in homes and at the Temple.
  4. Shared – they shared money and possessions and regularly shared meals.
  5. Worship – they worshiped together daily in the Temple.
  6. Favour – they enjoyed the goodwill and favour of the people around them.
  7. Saved – more people got saved and were added to the church.

The thing I find interesting is when we as Christians focus on the right things and are fully devoted to them, great things happen. Devotion to God and His Kingdom, brings blessings and all types of Divine favour.

Let us purpose in our hearts to devote ourselves to the things of God. Things like the Bible, fellowship, sharing and prayer.

God Bless,
Dave

Not overthrown, but changed

May 29th, 2018

I was reading Acts 1 this morning. This is commonly titled, “The Ascension of Jesus”.

Acts 1:6-11 – So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking Him, “Lord, has the time come for You to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” 7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After saying this, He was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see Him. 10 As they strained to see Him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go!”

In this passage Jesus was with the Disciples and then He ascended to heaven before their eyes. Two men in white appeared and told them Jesus had gone, but He would be back one day.

The interesting thing I found was that the disciples asked Jesus when He was going to overthrow the Roman oppression and restore the Kingdom on earth (v1). That is what they wanted to know.

As important as that was, Jesus had a bigger picture. He was interested in changing the world, not just one location. Not only the world at that time, but all the time in between until He came back.

Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came. When the Holy Spirit came they would have new power to share Christ with others.

God’s plan has always been about salvation and mankind spending eternity with Him. He moved heaven and earth when Jesus came. He sent the Holy Spirit to reach out to us. He stretches His hand out to us today.

God loves you and He wants to be a part of your life right now. He also wants you to spend eternity with Him.

I would encourage you to visit my “Peace with God” page right now to make your connection with God. You can find it here.

God Bless,
Dave