Thursday, April 6, 2017

When the foundations are being destroyed...

When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3

It's been a while since my last devotion, but reading this verse today really made me want to make some comments on it.

What are the foundations being spoken about, surely not of buildings, but that on which the nations, the people's live on, the things we so take for granted in our everyday life that we forget to appreciate them before they crumble away out of neglect.
The foundations that different cultures and governments may have many differences, and we can that the Lord for diversity, but the basic rule of law and order, of Justice, freedom of speech, these are foundations everyone everywhere one would like to have. The problem is are we prepared to fight to preserve them, struggle to uphold and maintain them? I guess we have to ask ourselves how are these foundations destroyed and taken away in the first place?
Our foundation is of course the Sovereign Lord, Creator of the universe, our Suffering Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, He is the Word, both living and written. 
What are we to do about it, what can the righteous do, we must continue to faithful uphold the Word of God as our only rule, we must pray, yes our struggle our fight, is not against flesh and blood, but against the prevailing sinful blindness, we face a spiritual battle, one that we can only fight on our knees in prayer, once we are firmly grounded we can prevail by Gods grace. We will not win with fine sounding, fact filled speeches, we can only do anything lasting by and through the work of the Holy Spirit of Christ our Saviour in us. 




Sunday, October 30, 2016

restoration

"Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!"
Psalm 80:3

We really do need the Lord to turn his favorable disposition in our direction, to shine the light of his eyes to fall upon us, we need him to look at us in grace, and mercy, if not we are undone, we would be consumed by his righteous and holy wrath.
May he look with favour/favor on all those he loves.

May the Lord bless us on His day


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The strange ways of our God

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. - Daniel 1:1


At a certain point in the nation of Judah, the Lord intervenes and sends an instrument of punishment in the form of the vast Babylonian army under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar to surround, besiege and eventually conquer the city of Jerusalem, he would also initially take the cream of the crop with him to be trained and incoroporated into his civil service. 
This ws very much a low point in the lives of God's people, this strange providence that God allows, God in His infinate ways is sometimes very difficult for us to understand. Yes God was punishing His people as he said he would if the departed from worshipping Him in the way he had prescribed for them.
His punishment was however not a permanant punishement, they would remain in captivity for 70 years as a nation, but would under Cyrus the Kong of the Medes and the Persians. Be allowed to return and resettle their homeland. God's punishment of His children always has a restorative purpose to it, and that is focussed in the word reconciliation. God is a God who reconciles us in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the death and resurecction of Jesus resulted in reconciliation being offered to spiritual outlaws, we deserve condemnation and eternal punishement, but God in Christ gives us eternalreconciliation.

f you want to discover the purpose for your life on earth, the reason you exist? Then be reconciled to our great and merciful Lord and God! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." - Matthew 2:1&2

It's Christmas time again, incredible isn't it? 

Time again to ponder anew the true meaning of Christmas and acknowledge that its not about all the commercial nonsense and soppy sentimentalism we see on typical Christmas TV shows!

The Star rose in the east, that cosmic sign testifying to the birth of God the son in the flesh down here on earth, that only the wise men recognized. No one else was mindful of what really happened, thousands of years later, it seems that the vast majority are not mindful of who Jesus is or why he came to earth. He did not come 2000 years ago so we can fill our shopping baskets to overflowing he did not come so we can stuff our bellies with food, he did not come so we could give and receive gifts either.
He came to live a perfectly sinless life in all he said and did, he came to die an awful death on a cross so that our sins can be forgiven. 
The joy at Christmas relates to our amazement and wonder that the God of all glory could and would condescend to come to earth to die for sinners!
Yes we rejoice at the baby Jesus birth, but that joy is vastly overshadowed by the joy of his death, and the joy of his resurrection. 




Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Give Thanks


Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!  - Psalm 95:2

It's thanksgiving time in the USA, yes it is true we can and should thank the Lord every day for all our blessings, but setting a special day apart is also a good idea, it's a time we can slow down from our usual fast paced lives and contemplate all that we have been blessed with in the last 12 months. Many will travel this weekend to be with family, almost everyone will stuff themselves with the traditionally deliciously roasted turkey and all the accompanying trimmings. 
Let us just spend some time thanking the Lord for everything that has happened, both the good things, the bad things and the ugly things, ultimately God's permissive will has allowed all these to come our way for our good, to be a benefit to us. 
Just in the last few weeks I have had an ongoing and persistently painful bout of shingles which I am still struggling with. How can I give thanks for shingles? When I consider that I could have had it far worse than I have endured, I can thank God for sparing me in His Grace. a few weeks ago my father died suddenly in South Africa, how can I thank the Lord for that? He died peacefully in his home, which is on a farm in a rural area which he loved dearly. I thank the Lord for the incredible peace he gave me in my heart on hearing of his death, I thank the Lord for the strength he gave me to preach the Gospel at my fathers funeral. I thank The Lord for the family I grew up in, the friends and family that gave me support, and prayed for me all the way to South Africa and back to the USA.
This devotion has been of a very personal nature, but I have learnt, or rather been reminded that giving thanks really is possible in every situation and in every circumstance imaginable, I hope my sharing will encourage everyone to thank the Lord for His many blessings.
"give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18







Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Who can ever forget?


"Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.  - Isaiah 49:15

I very recently and rather embarrassingly forgot an appointment that I had with a brother, thinking back in my life to the first time I forgot to do something like that,  was back in Grade Three (Standard One, in South Africa in 1971). What I forgot caused considerable public embarrassment to myself, and a great deal of anger from the School Headmaster, a certain Mr Doug Sumner. It was my turn, and it was my first turn ever to read the Bible passage at the School assembly time in the morning. When he called for me to go forward to read, I realized I had not prepared and I had failed to bring the reading with me. 
I'm so glad the Bible tells us most re-assuredly that our great God cannot and will never forget us, there are not many things that the Lord cannot do, one of them is He cannot forget His family, He cannot forget His children, He died for us, how could He forget?
When you are having a black spot, a dark time spiritually, when you feel you are in a dry and dusty desert place in your spiritual life, and when you feel lonely, deserted and even when you may feel unloved and forgotten, remember this passage, there is One who knows, and whom cannot forget! What a great comfort. May the Lord truly be your comfort today!




Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Refreshing service.

I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people. - 1 Corinthians 16: 17-18 

Paul gives us the names of three people that were important to the work of the Gospel, and he compliments them tremendously for all they have done and were doing. He does not list any actual work but states that they themselves were a great refreshing influence to himself and the church. 
Just think about that for a moment, what we do to serve the Lord in Church is very important, but what is more important is what kind of person you are when you serve. 
Are you a reluctant servant that has to be begged and pleaded with? Do you serve with utmost reluctance and constant complaining, griping, and are you always treading on everyone else's toes, or is it always they who are treading on yours? 
Is your area of service your pet project, your little empire? In short are you a drain on everyone else? 
Or are you refreshing to those that you work with, with your fellow servants, is your service and outflowing of gratitude for the sheer pleasure of serving the ultimate Servant -Savior? Is our service done in love, compassion, gratitude and with thanksgiving?