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The PASSION Blog

This blog is a place where I share reflections on faith, life and the Bible. I also share encouraging resources that I have found and ministry updates for PASSION. Be encouraged and blessed.


Waiting patiently for the Lord to return

James 5:7-8 says, "Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord's return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. [8] You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near."

As I read and reflect on these verses, four things jump out at me.

1. James tell us to be patient as we wait for the Lord’s return. He likens it to farmers waiting for the crops to grow. They can’t make it happen any faster. They just patiently wait.

2. While farmers are patient waiting for the crops to grow, they are busy with other things too like caring for sheep, fencing, or servicing vehicles. Even in summer they are preparing for seeding.

3. Like the farmer who hopes to have a good harvest, we as Christians look forward in hope and faith that we will be rewarded when Jesus returns for us.

4. Jesus will return at the appointed time. We can't make it come sooner. However, that time is sooner than it was yesterday!

Lesson: Wait patiently for Jesus, but work diligently in the meantime.

Blessings,
Dave


Sharing your faith with Romans Road

Romans Road is a great place to start when you are wanting to share your faith with others. It takes people through key verses from the book of Romans to help people realise their need for salvation.

The Natural State Of Mankind - Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”

The Reason - Romans 3:23 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard.”

The Cause - Romans 5:12 “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.”

The Penalty - Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The Love of God - Romans 5:8 “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. ”

The Remedy - Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”

The Decision - Romans 10:13 “For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."

A good tip is to highlight these verses in your Bible. If you can remember them all, just write them down in the back of your Bible. Then you can refer to them as you go.

Blessings,
Dave


Make it personal

“You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Often when God speaks in His Word, He speaks to His people as a whole. He doesn’t just see us as individuals, but as His people.

In this passage though, we see David talking to God. He is declaring God’s goodness for him personally.

1. God prepares a feast for me

2. He anoints my head with oil

3. His goodness and unfailing love pursue me

4. I will live with God forever

In these words we see that David uses words me, my and I. He is declaring God’s goodness towards himself.

These few verses remind us that while God's Word in the Bible mostly speaks to His people a whole, it is okay to personalise it for ourselves.

What passages can you declare over yourself today?

Blessings,
Dave


The compassion of Jesus

The Bible tells us in numerous places that Jesus was full of compassion. Psalm 103:8 tells us that “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love”.

As I dwelt on this compassion I came to realise that compassion needs to have action attached to it. It can’t just be a noun or describing word, it needs to be a verb or a doing word.

As I looked through Scripture I found four ways in which Jesus showed compassion to those He came in contact with. Here they are...

1. He became people’s teacher – Mark 6:35 says, “When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd that was like sheep without a shepherd. He felt sorry for the people and started teaching them many things”.

2. He fed people – In Mark 8:2 Jesus said, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me for three days, and they don’t have anything to eat.” He then multiplied the fishes and the loaves.

3. He raised people to life – In Luke 7:13-15 we see that Jesus had compassion on a widow who had just lost her only son. He walked up to the young man, raised Him to life and gave him back to his mother.

4. He healed the sick – Matthew 14:14 says, “When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd. He felt sorry for them and healed everyone who was sick”.

Jesus had compassion in all of these examples. His compassion was not just in thought, but in deed. He was moved to action.

It is my hope and prayer that I will not only have Jesus’ compassion in my life, but it will be a compassion that moves me to action. How about you?

Blessings,
Dave


Never stop praying

The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “never stop praying” in the NLT or to ”pray continually” as the NIV puts it. Both of these translations give us a clear thought of being in constant conversation with God. For me this works out in a couple of ways.

1. Set times – Each day I have a time set aside to pray to God. This is where I sit with my prayer journal and write the things down that are on my heart or people have asked me to pray about. Once the list is written out, I then pray my way through them. It is formal and structured, but there is still room to hear from God or add extra things in.

2. On the journey – This is simply praying as I go about my daily life. I try to think of it as having an open telephone line to God. At any time of the day or night, no matter where I am, I can call on Him. I might be asking for wisdom or guidance, help in what I am doing, asking what He wants me to do next, praying for a friend or family member, or asking for protection. They are the things that come up as I go about my day.

So am I saying that I pray at every minute of the day? No, of course not! I just want to have an attitude of prayer where I am trying to be connected to God as much as I can. My heart is to be in tune with the Creator of the universe so I can call on Him when I need help or guidance, or where He can call on me when He wants me to do something for Him.

Blessings,
Dave


Jesus: The narrow gate

In Matthew 7:13-14 the Bible says, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it”.

This verse is referring to how a person gets into God’s Kingdom. In this passage Jesus is referring to Himself as the Gate or the way we find salvation.

As I reflect on this narrow gate I am reminded of sheep coming in to be shorn by the shearers. They come from a large paddock and then the fencing gradually narrows until there is only room for one sheep at a time to pass through. It passes through with not much room on either side.

For us when we enter God’s Kingdom through the narrow gate, there is not much room on either side for us either. We can’t bring our achievements to impress God, we can’t bring our wealth or riches to buy our way in, we can’t bring our pride.

When we come to this narrow gate, that many don’t find because of the things above, we simply come humbly seeking to enter God’s Kingdom. We come in faith and hope and looking to Jesus as the Gate. We come not knowing all the answers, but we come seeking Jesus.

Jesus tells us in the Bible that He is the way to the Father, the truth and the life (John 14:6) and that He is the only way we can find salvation and rest for our weary souls (Acts 4:12, Matthew 11:28). Will you come to Jesus today? Will you enter through the narrow gate of Jesus?

I would encourage you to visit my “Peace with God” page now to enter into God’s Kingdom. Enter through the narrow gate that is Jesus and begin a whole new journey of faith and life today. You can do this here.

Be blessed,
Dave


A kind word cheers him up

One of the great things I love about the Bible is that it prompts me of simple things I can do as I read it.

Today I read Proverbs 12:25. It says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up”. It is a short and simple verse, but it has a
great reminder.

If someone is anxious about something or not feeling the best, a kind word can cheer them up. It is simple, practical advice that can make a difference to
someone’s day!

How about you? Who can you cheer up today? Why not look around as you go about your day and see if someone needs a kind word.

If you find someone, let them know you appreciate them or something good they do. It might just make the world of difference.

Blessings,
Dave


Meditating on the Shepherd

Psalm 63:6-8 says, “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.”

King David said these words when he was hiding in a desert cave from his enemies. I could imagine him lying awake at night wondering what would happen to him.

During sleepless, uncomfortable nights, David thought about God. Instead of counting sheep, he meditated on his Shepherd!

He reviewed all the ways God had already helped him, and he greeted the next day with songs of praise.

In my wakeful nights when I am churning over things, I try to make it a point to reflect on the times of God’s faithfulness to us as a family.

I find this helps me to have an eternal perspective and puts things in their right place. It reminds me that God is in control and He is with me.

I find doing this gives me far more rest than any of the other things I might count. Meditating on the Shepherd is far better than counting sheep!

Blessings,

Dave


A special utensil

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 “In a wealthy home some utensils are
made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive
utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday
use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honourable use.
Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for
every good work.”

In these verses the Apostle Paul urges Timothy to be the kind of person God
could use for his best and most noble purposes. He tells Timothy not to settle
for less than God’s highest and best.

As Christians we need to allow God to use us as an instrument of His will.
How do we do this? We do this by staying close to him and keeping ourselves
pure, so that sin and its consequences does not get in the way of what God
wants to do in our lives.

Of course God can forgive us when we stumble and repent, but how much
better it is to stay close to Him and ready to be used by him at a moment’s
notice.

Let’s all purpose in our hearts to keep ourselves pure so we can be special
utensils for God’s will and good purposes today. Let’s be ready for every good
work.

Blessings,

Dave


Tips to being a good servant of Jesus

I love the passage from 1 Timothy 4:6-16. This is the Apostle Paul giving a young Timothy some great tips on how to be a good servant of Jesus.

1. Don’t not waste time arguing godless ideas, focus on Jesus.

2. Train yourself in the things of God.

3. Focus on reading the Scriptures to the church.

4. Encourage other believers.

5. Teach the thing of God to others.

6. Use your spiritual gifts, don’t neglect them.

7. Keep a close watch on the way you live.

This is good advice that stands up nearly 2000 years later. If you want to be a good servant of Jesus, why not focus on these things.

Blessings,

Dave


Have you ever wondered if God wants to bless you?

Have you ever wondered if God wants to bless you? Numbers 6:22-27 gives us some clues.

[22] Then the LORD said to Moses, [23] “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing: [24] ‘May the LORD bless you and protect you. [25] May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. [26] May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.’ [27] Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.”

The first thing we see is God tells Moses to tell Aaron and his sons to pray a prayer blessing over the people. The prayer of blessing lists six things God wants to give or bless His people with.

1. Blessings on them

2. Protect them

3. Smile or be pleased with them

4. Gracious towards them

5. Show His favour towards them

6. Give them peace.

The really cool thing about this blessing is God says when you pray this blessing, He WILL do it in verse 27. It was His idea and He will do it!

This is just one of the many blessings in the Bible. From this we can see we don’t have to wonder if God wants to bless us. He told His Priests to pray blessings over the people!

Remember: God is on our side and we are on His. He wants to bless His people.

Be blessed today,

Dave


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