Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daily Journal for Wednesday 28th October 2009

S - You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers. You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him - you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it". Acts 7:51-55
O - The context for this outburst came from an amazing man - Stephen - chosen by the twelve disciples of Jesus to tend to the care of the widows of the followers of Jesus. He was said to be full of faith and the Holy Spirit. Stephen seemed to have an extraordinary close relationship with Jesus, as at one time, after being interrorgated by the Sanhedrin, his face was like that of an angel. He explained to the Pharisees and Sanhedrin, the entire story of the Old Testament in relation to the coming of Moses and the giving of the Law. As you read, you are drawn into this, and hear and see God's plan for redemption. The Pharisees and Sanhedrin would have known this story well, and been pleased with the knowledge of Stephen. The story was predictable and expected. Then, BANG! Stephen, one so full of grace and angelic disposition, levels this tirade at the religious leaders. He is essentially accusing them of murder. They are stiff-necked and refuse to hear truth, as their hearts are hardened. Here there is no sweetening of the truth. As a result, they stone him.
A - How often our own walk with Christ seems to flow in predictability and the known. How very rarely do we step out into a place of danger and risk, and really tell the truth. The truth that people are really going to hell if they don't follow Jesus. That we all have blood on our hands, because of our unregenerated hearts when we refuse to hear the message of the Gospel of Christ. That before we came to Christ, we too, were guilty of murder; murdering through lack of faith and disbelief, the Righteous One.
P - Dear Heavenly Father, Help me to be more bold in explaining to people, the whole truth of the message of salvation. That there is grace, but there is also a sobering truth to your message. Help us to become people who are not frightened by men, but to see you, and speak your message, I pray. Amen.
Daily Readings from Acts 6&7

Monday, October 26, 2009

Daily Journal for Tuesday 27th October 2009


S - "Now Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus" Acts 4:29-30

O - This prayer is remarkable in the context of what was happening. Peter and John had been preaching, teaching and healing in public in Jerusalem. Many thousands had come to give their lives to Christ. They had been brought in to face the Sanhedrin and it was noted, that "they had been with Jesus". They were warned not to preach or teach again. Fearing a reprisal against them, the Sanhedrin released Peter and John. Upon returning to their fellow believers they all praised God and then prayed this prayer. The threats of death did not stop them from speaking. The threats of imprisonment did not stop them from speaking. They prayed for more power to perform God's purposes not their own. And the prayer was bold and full of faith. It was a prayer to create change. They also understood fully the source and purpose of this empowerment.

A - That we would pray with greater faith and expectation and for God's purposes more than our own. That we would pray every day to believe that more and more people would come into the kingdom of light and know Jesus. Perhaps we would see (know we would!) greater miracles.

P - Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for not having an enlarged faith to believe in the power and the miraculous. Enlarge our faith, I pray and help us to hunger for the things of God rather than for our own needs. Amen.

Daily Reading plan Acts Chapters 4&5

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Daily Journaling for Monday 26th October 2009


S - " - we hear them declare the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Acts 2: 11b

O - Tongues of fire had just descended on the followers who were gathered in together in Jerusalem. The day of Pentecost had arrived. The followers were all from Galilee. Yet strangely, as they spoke, they spoke in languages from every country and tribe. The wider crowd of pilgrims who had gathered at Jerusalem heard them and were amazed because they were speaking in their different languages. Such a miracle of God. In fact, the book of Acts chronicles so many miracles performed, this time, not by Jesus, but by his Holy Spirit through his disciples. Even with all the excitement and marvel at the miraculous, it all comes down to one thing, - praising the wonders of God. Raising people from the dead, healing those who are crippled, speaking in strange languages, becoming emboldened through the Holy Spirit; these are all important, but fade into insignificance, in comparison to praise and worship of our amazing God.

A - Many times I think we get distracted, even in church, how the sermon went, what is our strategic plan, how many people attended the services, what needs are there that we have to provide for in the church etc, and we forget the one very important thing. Like Mary, sitting at Jesus' feet, we forget that we are here primarily, to worship and praise our amazing God.

P - Dear Lord of Heaven, Father God, you are a wondrous and amazing God, and we are in awe of you. Thankyou for your majesty and glory and beauty. Amen

Daily Reading from Acts, Chapters 2&3

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Daily Journaling for Thursday 22nd October 2009

S - "Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, "Show us the Father?" Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?"

O - Jesus was preparing for his death. The death that would bring about redemption for the whole of mankind. He had spent the last three years with Philip. Philip had witnessed the faith, the miracles, the teaching, the healing, the wonder. This was Jesus' time of need. The need to be fully known. And those closest to him were still unable to fully know Him. That He was the complete representation of God, in fact, that He was God, incarnate. All this time, didn't Philip realise who was really with him. Who was eating with him, who was sleeping with him, who was intimate and involved and concerned with every aspect of his life! Even now, at this time, Philip had failed to see the real Jesus, failed to see that He was God, and failed to see his daily presence in his life.

A - How often must Jesus ask these questions of us. Don't you see me? Don't you know me? Don't you know who I am? Even when he is intimately involved and concerned with every aspect of our lives, how often do we acknowledge, or even allow, his presence, which is God himself, to journey with us; to comfort us, to empower us, to perfect us, to challenge us, to.........

P- Dear Jesus, please forgive me for so often causing you to ask these questions of me. I am also like Philip, a child of yours, yet, who so often, lives my life independently from you. Please help me to acknowledge your divinity, you majesty, and your life in my life daily, I pray. Amen.

Daily Readings John Chapters 14

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Daily Journaling for Wednesday 21st October 2009


S - "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? "Father, save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" John 12:27-28

O - Jesus had just finished telling us that we must die to self (a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies), in order to produce a harvest. This is the expectation of a servant of God. Now he applies this teaching to himself. But here, he is talking literally about his physical death ( and possibly his spiritual death, which was the separation from God). How comforting to know that he too, experienced trouble and consternation when considering what lay ahead. Here Jesus has almost a "mini talking to himself " time., wrestling with his humanity and his divinity. But as expected, chooses to continue to obey and fulfil his purposes. And his purpose was not about his life (the seed dies), but his Father's glory.

A - The path to service and surrender to God is not always easy. There is often a huge cost.
The cost of family, friends, rejection, being misunderstood etc. But if we follow Jesus' example, there is a most wonderful result. The God of glory is glorified! Jesus' name is honoured! And others who shun Christ, might just sit up and listen when they see God in us.

P - Lord help me to take this daily challenge of choosing to die to my needs and my wants, and instead to make your purposes my delight and focus I pray. Amen.

Daily Readings John Chapters 12&13

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Daily Journaling for Thursday 15th October 2009


S - "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life"
John 5:39-40

O - The Pharisees and the scribes were well read and learned men. They knew the Scriptures and the law. The whole of the Old Covenant with the Mosaic Law foreshadowed the New Covenant of Grace through Jesus Christ. These men would have understood that the Messiah was yet to come. Earlier in our readings we see how the disciples immediately left their careers, family and life to follow Jesus, the Messiah. Simple fishermen were able to understand who Jesus was. They were not able to read the Scriptures. They heard them through the priests, who diligently studied the Scriptures. Here, Jesus challenges those who had advantage and access to truth but were completely blind to his divinity. Not only blind, but rebellious (you refuse to come to me). In contrast, simple men, who were unable to read the Scriptures for themselves were able to see who Jesus was.

A - So often we have so much in our modern era to know Jesus more deeply. We have the Holy Spirit. We have organised religion. We have Bibles and Scriptures in abundance and in every conceivable translation. We can read. We go on to study further through books, commentary's and other resources. We can even read this blog and others like it. We have so much. Yet, are we like the Pharisees, who at times refuse to "come to Jesus", to surrender completely, to make him Lord as well as Saviour of our lives and to live our lives in obedience to his will. Sometimes I wonder if the abundance knowledge about Jesus, leaves little time for real communion with Jesus. This is something we have to watch.

P - Dear Jesus, help me to always see you in the reading of your word. May it never be, that I read the Scriptures for personal ends other than to know you more deeply I pray. Amen.

Daily Reading John Chapter 5

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daily Journaling for Wednesday 14th October 2009

S -For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life"
John 3:16
O - We have heard these words so many times. Most Christians can recite them. They have the potential to be the words that just roll off our lips, and yet they are some of the most majestic words ever spoken. In these words, we have the summary of God's character (God is love), who that love is expressed to (the world and all things, including us, in it), the way that love is expressed (by giving us His Son), how that love is accepted (by believing in Jesus), and the outcome of accepting that love ( we will not perish, but have eternal life)
A - If I truly understand all that God is, all that he has done for me, all that I need to do for him, and all that he has for me in the future, I am truly a blessed person, and nothing that I worry about or concern myself about is really of any significance. I am with Jesus now, and will be with him forever. I think of those who don't know God's love, and this makes me more determined to let others know so that they too, will live with this greatest hope and life.
P - Dear God, thankyou so very, very much for loving us to very very deeply. Thankyou for sending your Son so that we can live with you forever. Amen
Daily Reading John Chapters 3&4

Daily Journaling for Tuesday 13th October 2009

S - The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" John 1: 14
O - John has told us that God sent his Son, Jesus Christ as the living Word to us. This Word, which in a sense we feed on, became "flesh". That is, God himself, became fully like us. He lived for a while among us. The God of heaven, the one who made the universe, set stars into space and created the world, stooped to become fully us, and yet remain fully God. "He lived among us"! That is such an extraordinary understanding. Jesus Christ understands what it is like to be us in our ordinary, everyday life. And as a result, grace, (which is undeserved favour and love from God) and truth became our inheritance. The theologian, Donald Barnhouse said, love that goes up, is worship, love that goes out, is compassion, but love that stoops, that is grace.
A- When I think of the marvellous plan that God had, in sending his Son, Jesus Christ to earth for us, and of his amazing grace and truth, which is constantly available to us, I am overwhelmed with awe and gratitude. What other god would do this? Only one that loves so deeply that he would stoop so low to show us how much he loves us. We need to remember this fact above all. God is a God that loves us so much that he would become like us to proclaim that love.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thankyou so much for sending Jesus, he is everything to me and to so many who believe. Oh, if only the world would understand the gift and treasure we have in Jesus. Help me, help us, to continue to value Jesus' gift to us in himself, and to continue to let the world hear and see this gift in your Holy Name. Amen
Daily Reading for John Chapters 1&2

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Daily Journal for Monday 12th October 2009

S- "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen" Luke 24:5b

O - What amazing and deeply assuring words. To all intents, the people that loved Jesus were heartbroken, as he had died. The women were going to the tomb to prepare his body. But her was not there! The tomb was empty. He had gone and instead there were two angels there who spoke to them. Oh Jesus, you overcame death. You defeated death. You died and you rose. This means everything to those who believe in you. This means that we too will never die, but will be with you forever in all eternity. There is nothing more deeply assuring and wonderful. It is also true, that even now, as we live, we are living for you. Those who do not know you, do not realise that they too, are dead. Dead, spiritually.

A- This weekend has been so sad at the loss of Brian McGorlick. But, we also know that we have this deep assurance that he has gone to be with his saviour, Jesus Christ. I cannot believe that just last Tuesday was the last time I saw him, and he is now looking directly at Jesus. In heaven, raised to new life.

P - Dear Jesus, what an awesome and incredible hope we have, that in you, we have eternal life. Thankyou for this gift which gives so much hope and life. Amen.

Daily Reading From Luke Chapter 24

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Daily Journaling for Thursday 8th of October 2009

Lost People Matter

 - "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Luke 19:10

O - Jesus came to save the lost. Zacchaeus was lost. Caught up in his money and the vastness of it. Yet he wanted to see Jesus. The people heard Jesus say that he must stay at Zac's house and witnessed Zac's glad welcome of Jesus and they thought Jesus was making an error in judgment. "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner" they muttered. But this was no mistake for Jesus came to do exactly this - save the lost. And those who seek Jesus can be found!

A - Jesus still wants to save the lost! He is still wanting his followers to go into all the world and make disciples, to be salt and light. He still wants his church to be a city on a hill for a world lost in darkness. Lost people mattered to Jesus. They still matter to God. They must matter to me too. I will give a book to a friend and do an act of kindness for another today because I want them to be saved because they matter.

P - Lord, help me care and love lost people the way you do and may I be a part of your seeking and saving them. Amen.

Daily Readings Luke 19-20

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Daily Journaling for Wednesday 7th of October 2009

Faith for the Impossible

S - The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you. Luke 17:5-6

O - The disciples found Jesus' teaching about causing little ones to sin and forgiving those who sin against them continually too hard. Their cry was spot on - "Increase our faith!" What is often lacking in my life and in the life of many Christians and Christian churches is a lack of faith. God has asked us to live in obedience to him and sometimes it seems impossible. But with an increase in our faith that God can do anything we can fulfill his commands.

We don't need much faith, even with just a little God can do a lot. Even with a small amount God can do the impossible like uprooting trees and changing lives.

A - I need my faith increased. We had a funeral a few weeks back and I got a number of text messages and emails before the service from people saying "I am praying for you." I heard yesterday how two people sat down in their seats in the packed church and said to each other "We need to pray." And they prayed throughout the service. You can imagine what happened. God used the service to touch many people and change lives!

I need faith to believe that this Sunday as we meet together, God wants to change lives. I need to pray like the persistent widow, with a faith that can move mountains that God would transform hearts. I need to prepare and act in faith and believe that God wants to do the impossible because with God all things are possible.

P - Father, you made the heavens and earth - nothing is impossible. Transform hearts and lives in our city, in our church, for your glory I pray. Amen.

Daily Readings Luke 17-18

Monday, October 5, 2009

Daily Journal for Tuesday 6th October 2009


S - "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him " Luke 15:20

O - This parable is highlighting God's joy at the return of a sinner. The son spent all of his father's inheritance on wild living (prostitutes and partying). You probably couldn't get more rebellious or decadent than that! I have been told that to even ask for your share of the inheritance while your father is alive is extremely dishonouring in this culture. Its as if you are saying to your father, "I think of you as already dead!". And now the son returns - ashamedly and humbly. But! The father sees him in the distance and is filled with compassion and runs to him. I am also aware that for a man of this wealth and stature, running, was unbecoming and below his station. Only servants scurried and ran. The more wealthier you are the slower your gait. Its as if God is telling us through this parable that He will do anything, including the extension of costly grace towards us, in order to win us back towards Him. To have God thrust his arms around us and kiss us when we have sinned so deeply is radical and life changing. But the condition is, we have to want to come back!

A - I continually forget how gracious and forgiving God really is. How often I hold on to my shame and unworthiness and think I can hide it from God when all He want is for me to turn back to Him. I want to continually be aware of my sin and repent and trun to God to recieve His forgiveness.

P - Father, help me to remember your grace and your mercy and your forgiveness in my life. How awesome and amazing is your grace to me. Thank you for being the God that you are in my life. Helps others, through me, to also know the mercy and grace that you have for them I pray. Amen.

Daily Reading Luke Chapters 15&16

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Daily Journaling for Monday October 5th 2009

S - Then Jesus said, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew, became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches" Luke 13: 18-19
O - Jesus was talking about the kingdom of God when He was referring it to the mustard seed. The kingdom of God starts out very small. It is important to remember this, especially as the world seems to totally ignore the message of Christ. But, it grows! We are led to believe that when this tree or vine eventually becomes full grown, it becomes one of the largest trees known. Then the birds of the air rest in its branches. The kingdom has all the potential to become a haven for those seeking refuge, for those finding food, for those requiring a home.
A - As I ready myself today for counselling at Mustard Seed Counselling and Care, I too, am aware that we have started small, opening one day per week. Yet, already God has blessed this small endeavour. Many lives have been touched by His Spirit. On Thursdays, Robin's group for women from Betty's Place has become a refuge and a home. Mary helps many who are seeking guidance and nourishment. Praise God that He has given us such a wonderful encouragement from His Word to inspire. The kingdom of God will grow here on earth despite humble and small beginnings.
P - Dear Jesus, thank you so much for the wonderful gift of life you give us through trusting in you and trusting in your Word, and sharing the great adventure of kingdom building together.
Daily Reading Luke Chapters 13 &14

Friday, October 2, 2009

Daily Journaling for Saturday 3rd of October 2009

Workers Needed!

S - He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Luke 10:2

O - Jesus says that the fields are ready to harvest and the harvest is plentiful. There are so many people who are ready to hear and respond to the Good News. But there's one big problem - not enough workers! There's few around. Not enough to reap the harvest. So what's the solution? Ask the Lord of the harvest to get the workers and get them out into the field so that the harvest can be brought in.

A - I believe Jesus' words are true for today. There are people all around who are ready to hear and respond to the gospel. The problem is that there are so few who have a genuine relationship with Jesus and are willing to share this with others. There are so few who will go. I must pray to God to raise up a workforce that will go and diligently share the Good News, reap the harvest and bring joy to the Lord of the harvest!

P - Father, send out workers I pray. I want to be one. Send out so many more that our city, our region is filled with workers, reaping a harvest, Amen.

Daily Readings - Luke 10-11

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Daily Journaling for Friday 2nd of October 2009

Taking up Your Cross

S - "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

O - This verse is spoken to those who would follow Jesus and this includes anyone for anyone can follow Jesus. Just like the "whoever" in John 3:16 the "anyone" means the invitation is open. But the cost is great. They must deny themselves putting Christ first and themselves as willing servant doing his bidding. And they must take up their cross daily, by dying to self (the old way of living) and living the new life that the cross has brought (new life in Christ).

A - I am a follower of Jesus! Today I will remember my the cost of being a follower means dying to self and living the new life won through the cross.

P - As I spend today preparing for Sunday's messages help me to live surrendered and obedient to you Lord Jesus. Amen.

Daily Readings - Luke 9