Praying For Our Leaders

30th September

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by Godliness and dignity.”

1 Timothy 2:1-2

Praying for others is a clear sign of Christian maturity and an important part of our Spiritual discipline. There is a man I know who has kept a record of pictures of people and daily works through them all, praying for them and blessing them. His example is an amazing inspiration to others, as to what true intercession is.

Yet this is not something that we should do when we remember. It should be part of our daily routines; Praying for people. That is not to say that we should neglect our own Spiritual needs; However, we should always try to remember others people’s requests in our prayers as well.

Furthermore, praying for our bosses, leaders, politicians and rulers in this world can change the way we raise our future generations. Imagine if all the political leaders of our time had a revelation of who Jesus is because of our daily intercession for them.. It is possible!! Let it not be just a dream but a reality. For God “wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth” (v4).

This morning, why not try to write some prayer requests down that your friends have mentioned to you and start by working through them…even if it is just one a day. After all if a Christian friend is not praying for an un-believing friend, who is?

All Things To All Men

29th September

When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ….When I am with the gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ… When I am with the weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in it’s blessings.”

1 Corinthians 9:20-23

Paul knew what it was like for a sinner to come to Christ. He experienced this first hand in his own life. He knew what a wretched man he was before Jesus stopped him on the road to damascus. He knew the precious gift of God’s grace, His salvation and God’s acceptance of even the most hardened criminals. So great was this revelation to him, that he wanted to share it with as many people as he could.

Furthermore, Paul’s passion for sharing God’s love was so great, that he was willing to become ‘all thing to all men’ just to share the gift of salvation with people. This even meant denying his own feelings, culture and identity to share the ‘Good News’ with people.

So often, spending time with the society’s ‘outcasts’ is often looked down upon by self righteous and religious leaders. Yet when we look at Paul’s message here and the life of Jesus Christ, we find the opposite happening. Jesus spent most of His time with ‘sinners’ so that He may share His love with those the world had rejected. Paul wanted desperately that many would come to know Jesus and was willing to share the ‘Good News’ in any way He could.

Let us too join in with the passion of Paul and the love of Jesus, to share God’s salvation with as many as we can, in whatever way necessary. Let God’s love be shown to the nations through our words and actions. Let none miss out because we were not willing to ‘be all things to all men’.

Salvation Is God’s Alone

28th September

I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It is not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”

1 Corinthians 3:6-7

Today’s verse has a two fold message. The first being that salvation is God’s work alone. There is nothing we can do to make the seed of salvation grow in someone’s heart. Salvation is God’s work alone. He provides the increase. The Holy Spirit is the One who opens our hearts to Jesus Christ and His work of grace. It is the Holy Spirit’s revelation, that we are so loved by God that He sent His Son Jesus Christ for us, that helps us to believe and accept and be transformed by that love.

The second message is that although salvation is God’s alone, we too can partner with Christ to share His message. It is then God’s work to open our hearts to receive it so that the seed of salvation may grow and bear good fruit in our lives. Paul was addressing the issue of fractions within the body as some were following Paul’s teaching, some Peter’s and some Apollos’. Yet Paul was highlighting that they were all working in partnership with Christ to share His message of love however, it is God work alone that makes that seed grow.

Let us not forget the responsibility of sharing Christ with others; but more importantly let us remember that it is God who makes the seed of salvation grow in someone’s heart. We do not need to have a title over our heads to be qualified to share Jesus with others. As Paul said, “It is not important who does the planting or watering.” What is important, is that we allow the work of salvation to be God’s alone, so that He alone can get the glory!

The Character of God

25th – 27th September

Weekend Edition 

 “They refused to obey, and they were not mindful of Your wonders that You did among them. But they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion they appointed a leader to return to their bondage. But You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and did not forsake them.”

Nehemiah 9:17

In order to know the character of God, one must look no further than God’s Holy Word. In it, we find all we need to know about God, His love for His people and benefits of His grace.

Today’s verse is taken from the book of Nehemiah, where Nehemiah is leading the people of Israel into a prayer of repentance for their rebellion towards God. What is worthy of noting in this passage is Nehemiah’s reference to the people of Israel and how they too rebelled against God’s goodness and His perfect ways. Moreover, Nehemiah reminds the Israelites that all is not lost. God is a God of mercy and kindness, rich in love and grace and abundant in kindness.

Although their sin was great and although they were living in persecution as a consequence of their sin, there was hope and comfort in knowing that God would and could forgive them. Why? Because grace is part of the character of God. His love and abundance is as real today as it was for the Israelites.

Although we too deserve punishment for our sin, God is kind and gracious to forgive us. We, like the rebellious Israelites, may too have to walk in the consequences of our mistakes and sinful actions, but even there, God is still with us and wanting to shower His love, grace and mercy over us. Jesus’ love and the comfort of the Holy Spirit, work in perfect harmony to not only forgive and restore but to guide and lead us into Holiness and perfect living.

 

 

 

God Is Incredible

24th September

 “You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you.”

Nehemiah 9:6

Yesterday I visited the largest aquarium in the world. It is found on the beautiful island of Okinawa. It was spectacular. The main viewing gallery boasts an enormous water tank that holds some of the biggest fish I ever saw in my life. From majestic sting-rays (bigger than a car), to huge sharks, tunas and of course whales (the size of buses).

When I saw these incredible fish, I was truly speechless. It not only reminded me of how amazing God is to have designed so many types, colours and species of fish, but the sheer size of them reminded me how big God is. It is only when things are put into perspective in our eyes than we can begin to start to fathom how much bigger God is than us.

When you are flying in an aeroplane and look down on the earth, humanity just seems like a spec. In space, islands seem likes a spec. In God’s universe, earth seems like a spec. Yet God is even out of time and space itself. To God, even the universe is like a spec. Yet incredibly, He chose to make human’s in His likeness and chose to sacrifice His only Son for our sakes.

We may be physically small, but to God we priceless. We are His. We are created to worship Him and give Him the glory and honour He deserves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blind Bartimaeus

23rd September 

“And when he heard it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Mark 10:47-48 

Where do your help come from? When you have no hope whom do you call upon?

Praise God, that we are not left alone in helpless and hopeless situations. God is always there. Bartimaeus was a blind man that had to rely purely on the generosity of others for his survival. There was no NHS to house him and care for him, and no benefits from local councils. Moreover, he was an outcast of society. Yet when he heard that Jesus was in town, he knew that his hope had come. He knew that in his hopeless situation he could cry out to Jesus and be healed; not just once, but twice. Even when the crowds tried to silence him, he called out even louder. He knew where his hope was found.

May we also learn to cry out in mercy to our Lord Jesus; not just in times of need but it times of plenty. May our hope and assurance be in Christ; not just for physical healing but spiritual too. God is full of mercy and wants to shower us with His blessings. All we need to do is cry out to Him for mercy. He freely gives His love and peace. Even when the crowds try to silence us, let us remember that our hope is found in the King of Kings, and Lords and Lords.

Have You The Heard The Voice Of God?

22nd

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me.”

John 10:27-28

What does the voice of God sound like? Have you ever heard it? The truth is that God speaks to us in so many different ways; through the still small voice in our minds, through creation, through His word and sometimes even audibly.

However, the underlying truth is this… We must all be able to discern and hear the voice of God. Why? Well, the obvious answer is, that if we are to engage in any type of relationship with God Himself, then we need to be able to have a conversation with Him. Any relationship is a two-way communication. God has so much to share with His sheep, so much to share with YOU! You know that you are His. You know that you can follow His voice and His guidance. There is richness and fullness of life in His words.

Yet so often, our minds are clogged up with so many others thoughts and voices that we find it hard to hear what God is saying. Even David, the friend of God, sometimes had moments in his life when he felt distant from God…”My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are You so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call You, my God, but You do not answer.” (Psalm 22:1-2) In fact Jesus Himself, repeated those words as He was hanging on the cross. Although the context of these two examples might be completely different from what we face, the fact of the matter is, is that sometimes things get in the way of us discerning and hearing God’s voice. Sometimes, we do feel far from Him. Sometimes, we do feel abandoned. Yet God is always there. He always wants to talk to us.

A great way to hear His voice is to read His word and allow time for Him to speak to you. Read the passage a few times and try to discern what it says about God, about you and your response to it.

God of the Impossible

21st September

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.””
Mark 9:23

The word impossible occurs nine times in the New King James Version of the Bible, and most of the references tell us that this word doesn’t appear in God’s regular vocabulary.

Matthew 17:20: “Nothing will be impossible.”
Matthew 19:26: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Mark 10:27: “With men it is impossible, but not with God.”
Luke 1:37: “With God nothing will be impossible.”
Luke 18:27: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”


Hebrews 6:18 tells us it is impossible for God to lie, and Hebrews 11:6 adds that without faith it is impossible for us to please Him. How important to cast our impossibilities in God’s hands. Just as He parted the sea for Israel, reversed the events in Esther, raised Jesus from the dead, and converted Saul of Tarsus, God is capable of reversing our irreversible problems.

There is nothing too big for Jesus. He is the God of the impossible. He makes what seems impossible possible. No mountain is too high and no problem too big. Whatever you may be facing today, cast it to Jesus…. He is bigger than your problems.

You cannot bring a burden too heavy for God to lift or a problem too hard for Him to solve or a request too big for Him to answer. God does things no one else can do.
Michael Guido

  • Taken from David Jeremiah’s turning point with last paragraph added.

With The Lions

19th & 20th September

Weekend Edition

So at last the King gave his orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel.

Daniel 6:16-17

Sadly, King Darius, seemed to have missed hearing the stories about God’s faithfulness towards Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He also ordered a decree that anyone found guilty of praying to any other god beside himself, must be arrested and thrown into the lion’s den.

Daniel, fell into that category. As he did everyday, he went up to his room, opened his windows towards Jerusalem and prayed to God, giving thanks. However, little did he know that he was being trapped by the high officials and rulers who were jealous of Daniel’s influence over the king. At once the high officials reported Daniel’s law breaking actions to the King. Reluctantly, King Darius ordered Daniel’s arrest and threw him into a den full of hungry lions.

The next day as King Darius went to check on what had happened to Daniel, and he was astonished to see the him completely un-harmed with not even a scratch on his body.

Daniels trust in the one true God and his willingness to not to compromise, not only saved his life, but led King Darius to proclaim that not himself, or his pagan gods but Daniel’s God, is the one true God whose Kingdom and rule will never end.

King Darius was completely right. We still serve that same God today; the God was rescued Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace and rescued Daniel from the lion’s den. All four had one thing in common. A desire to honour and worship the one true God, despite the consequences. We too should strive to honour God in our daily lives whether at work or in our schools and homes, wherever it may be, let us always worship God faithfully. Let our witness be so great that people will also proclaim that our God is the one true God, whose kingdom will never end.

In The Fire

18th September

 

So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants (trousers), turbans, robes, and other garments. And because the king in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in.

Daniel 3:21-22

Daniel was one of the most noble and God-fearing men to ever live in the Old Testament. He was faithful, a man of integrity but more than anything, he loved God and refused to compromise God’s holy standards. His God-fearing attitude was contagious. In fact so great was his contagious characteristics, that even pagan Kings came to recognise God’s greatness through his life. Furthermore, even his own friends were encouraged by his faith and persevering attitude, which almost caused their death.

King Nebuchadnezzar, was one of the most powerful kings to ever rule over the Babylonian Empire, yet his infatuation with power and wealth blinded his eyes to see who the ONE true God was. He foolishly built a statue out of pure gold, (that measured 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide), and ordered everyone to bow down and worship it. He issued an oath that anyone who refused to do so would be thrown into a fiery furnace. Of course, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were three men who refused to compromise.

Nebuchadnezzar anger was so great that his face became distorted with rage. So much so that he ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it normally was. Even the guards who threw them into the furnace died because of the intense heat. Yet God had other plans for His servants who refused to compromise. Not only did God save them from the fire, but He also sent a divine being to stand in the fire with them, to comfort and protect them. In fact so great was their protection that when they left the fire, no hair on their head was singed and they didn’t even smell of smoke.

When we refuse to compromise God’s holy standards, sometimes danger awaits us. However, we danger does come, we can be sure that God will never leave us. Even in the midst of a fiery furnace, God still can send His comforting presence. He promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Although we may face great danger for living lives of integrity, the blessings that await, far out weigh the pain of suffering.