Monday, November 30, 2009

Daily Journaling for Tuesday 1st of December 2009


S - God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7

O - God is just! He does see when people do evil things. He does notice the violence of war, exploitation of children, the agony of hunger caused by brutal leadership. God is just! He does notice those who trouble me. When people hurt, criticise unfairly, lash out or even willfully try to harm me, God sees. More than that - he will payback trouble on them. They will be judged for the pain and hurt caused. It may not happen now but when Christ comes in all his blazing glory - it will happen.

A - God is just! Therefore, I can leave the issue of "putting things right" when I am troubled by others, in God's hands. "Vengeance is mine" says the Lord. All that energy that I could spend on trying to make sure that I am not unfairly treated can be thrown into working for God and his glory. I can rest assured that God will judge fairly.

This verse is also a challenges to me. How I treat people is seen by God and he'll judge justly. I must always seek to treat others with respect and love.

P - Father, what a good thing it is to know that you are just. You are pure, right, holy. There is no wrong, sin, unfairness in you. I give all my troubles over to your care. Amen.

Daily Readings 1 Thess 5 - 2 Thess 3

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Daily Journal for Wednesday 26th November 2009


S - Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of his glory" Ephesians 1:13b-14

O - Jesus not only died for us but he also was raised from the dead. He not only substituted himself for our sins, but he didn't leave us alone. He gave us His Spirit. This Spirit is "sealed" in us, like a deposit which "guarantees" our inheritance (eternal glory). Can we really grasp the full extent of the majesty, the wonder, the awe and the grace of such a blessing.

A - Every day I want to live my life to the fullest surrender to Him, who has given me, and us, so much. I am alive because of the Spirit that is already in me. But I also want to continue to focus on the fact that I have eternal life with Jesus. This life starts now and continues forever. Praise God!

P- Father how can I thank you enough that you have given us such a gift as the Holy Spirit to come and dwell within us. Help us to honour and deepen our relationship with your Spirit I pray. Amen.

Daily Readings Chapters Galatians 5 to Ephesians 1

Monday, November 23, 2009

Daily Journaling for Tuesday 24th of November 2009


S - You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26

O - Paul was reminding the Galatians who they were. They were already son and daughters of God. Not slaves but sons. Not those who must slavishly obey a harsh and demanding owner but those who have been adopted by a loving Father whose love is not based on works but on relationship. How did this happen? Simple - through faith in Christ! (see Rom 10:13 & John 1:12)

A - I have put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. I therefore can agree with certainty that I am God's child - his son. I am accepted not by works but by a loving Father, through faith in Jesus Christ. I will today delight in knowing that I am loved. That this love is not dependent o my actions. I will give, serve, and obey my Father who loves, confident of his unconditional love and the relationship I have with him through faith.

P - Father, thank-you for the privilege of being your Son, of being able to call you "Abba," "Pappa," "Daddy." Thank-you for Jesus. Thank-you that through faith in him I am part of this new family - your beautiful bride - the Church - all one in Christ. Amen

Daily Reading - Galatians 3-4

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daily Journal for Thursday 19th of November 2009


S - Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Corinthians 15:33

O - Bad company corrupts good character. Being in the presence of people with questionable morals or behaviour, hanging around with them for long periods of time, becoming a companion to somebody who is bad, will have an affect. It will corrupt the godly values that lead to good character.

The fact that most people don't believe this and become friends with whoever is available, is why Paul begins this verse with a strong warning - "Do not be misled." Often our desire to be loved or accepted over-rules our judgement and we follow people who can hurt us, control us and lead us in the opposite direction to where we want to go.

On yesterday's news a group of three men were jailed for beating many people on random attacked over a number of weeks. On one occasion, while one was beating a defenseless man with a baseball bat, the other stopped him and took the bat off. "You're not doing it right" he said and then gave the man the blows which cracked his skull leaving him almost dead.

A - If I feel that God wants me to grow in godly character, it just doesn't make sense to become companions with people who have no desire for that. It would be like going north along the Hume Highway to get to Melbourne! No matter how much I want to get there and no matter how fast I drive, I wont get there. I've started heading in the wrong direction.

I can love these people, show kindness and hospitality to them, and spend time getting to know and help them. But those I am one with, those I hang with, those I give permission to shape and nurture me, I want to be good company not bad.

That's why I need to choose my friends wisely, not marry someone who doesn't know and love Jesus, take seriously my role as a father by lovingly shaping my kids and by having godly character myself and creating a home environment that helps this to happen. That's why I need to be careful about the time I spend and the content I view on television. That's why selecting leaders in the church is so important. They influence others. They must be people who people have great confidence in, not in their skills alone but in their character.

P - God, help me be a man of good, godly character. Help me gather around me a group of people who will help to fan into flame, godly character and not corrupt it. Amen.

Daily Readings 1 Corinthians 14-16

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Daily Journal for Wednesday 18th November 2009


S - "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres"
1 Cor 13: 4-7

O - This description of love is so complete, so radical and confronting. Here we have the what and the how of love, as well as the outcomes of love. What love should be? - patient and kind. How does it achieve this? By not boasting, being proud, rude, self-seeking, easily angered, keeping no record of wrongs, not delighting in evil, but rejoicing in truth. The outcomes of love should be, protection, trust, hope and perseverance in love, and love alone.

A - When I am confronted by this beautiful and amazing description of love, I am humbled and ashamed. So often my love pales into insignificance to this description. How I am challenged to be better at loving. I know i need all the strength that the Holy Spirit can give me in order to enable me to love as God intended.

P - Dear Jesus, please help me, by your Spirit to love more deeply and selflessly every day I pray.


Daily Readings from 1 Corinthians Chapters 12 to 14

Monday, November 16, 2009

Daily Journal for Tuesday 17th November 2009

S - "So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it"
1 Cor 10:12-13
O - Paul has just finished telling us about the Jews who wandered in the desert for 40 years and died, as they were tempted by idols, immorality and grumbling. I don't think anything in all of mankind has changed. We are still tempted by these things every day. But the scripture here gives a warning and an encouragement. The warning is to not take your faith for granted. To remain standing firm. This is the first part of a familiar scripture to which, the second is often only quoted. God is faithful. He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. He will provide a way out for us, but we must stand firm in Him first.
A- How often I am tempted, especially in the area of grumbling. I grumble when I am tired, when I am hurt, when I am taken for granted. Yet I fail to see so often the blessings that God has given me. On Sunday we had an amazing service of Thanksgiving to God, and it reminds us that He is our rock, and that we have so much to be thankful for. Praise God that He is thankful.
P - Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for being tempted in so many ways. Help me to remain faithful and steadfast in you so that when I am tempted, I am reminded of the strength and support I have in you and the faith to overcome. Amen.
Daily Readings from 1 Corinthians Chapters 10&11

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Daily Journal for Friday 13th November 2009

S - For the Kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men" Romans 14:17-18
O - Eating and drinking are a joy and one of the most wonderful ways in life to celebrate and connect with people.
As you sit with someone over a meal, you seem to be better able to share and experience real intimacy. It truly is a joy. However, here, Paul has been writing in the context of individual deeply held beliefs about abstaining from certain foods which may be clean or unclean to the person you are with. He is not saying that food and drink in and of themselves is bad, they are not, but he is saying that for some people, the eating or drinking of certain foods and liquids may offend a person's deeply held held belief. In this case, we should be careful what we eat or drink in front of others. He then goes on to say, that in God's Kingdom, eating and drinking is secondary to righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
A - Wow! These thoughts are so revolutionary, as today we live in a world saturated and almost obsessed with food and wine. In many ways these have become symbols of sophistication, wealth and prestige. I was with some refugees this week, and they find it hard to not pray for "daily bread" every day in a real way. Their friend said, "You don't have to pray for this here in Australia". They have learned to live in extreme faith. Our abundance has caused us to lose sight of the important things in the Kingdom of God. Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
P - Dear Lord Jesus, help us as Western Christians to understand, that although we have so much, we also have so little. Help us to truly honour the important things in life, the things of the Spirit. Help us also to be more generous and to give more our of the abundance we have. Amen.
Daily Readings from Romans Chapters 14-15

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Daily Journal For Wednesday 11th November 2009


S - "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

O - Paul has been talking about the fact that the Good News has become known to the Gentiles as well as the Jews; that God is sovereign, and He desires that all people everywhere would know about Jesus Christ. Then, he says this amazing thing: "How will anyone know about Him, if people do not speak and go!. Previously he said that it is with our mouths we confess, and with our hearts we believe. Why should this amazing news be kept to just ourselves.

A - When I stop and really think about his, I am humbled and convicted. I have the most amazing God who loves me so much and cares deeply for me. I understand what true life is because of Jesus. I understand that there is nothing better in life than to be empowered by His Spirit, and to serve Him. I know that that is truly "New Life". Why should this amazing truth be kept secret? I am convicted in how very irregularly I proclaim the message to others.

P - Dear Jesus forgive me for not speaking out more about you and the life we have in you. Lord Jesus, help me to be a person who takes every opportunity to speak out about your greatness I pray. Amen.

Daily Reading Romans Chapters 9 to 11.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Daily Journal for Wednesday 4th November 2009


S - "And now compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:22-24

O - There is a spiritual beauty in winter in the Alpine area where we live. We go there many times during the season. There is a quietness, a silence, a majesty, an awe, and and unpredictability that makes the season and the area, at once glorious, and also terrifying. Paul was miraculously saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. But because of his persecution of the believers, earlier, in Acts, Jesus says that "I will show him how much he will suffer for my name" Chapter 9:16 . Grace was costly for Jesus. It seems that if we are prepared to truly follow Jesus, compelled even, there are no guarantees of what life will bring. Paul's life was not easy. There was a "chill factor", to the incredible warmth of grace that Christ showed to him. Paul was forgiven and saved for all eternity to be with Jesus, but his life on earth was not easy. Yes, it was full of glory, but also at times, terrifying hardship. The Gospel of Grace is dangerous, powerful and unpredictable. Incredible that God allows incomplete and broken vessels like ourselves, to handle and be responsible for it.

O - How easy it is to fall into the rhythm of taking grace for granted; believing we understand it's power to save in ways that are appealing and not too confronting for others. Yet grace is completely confronting. It is completely dangerous. I think the scriptures here are saying that there are consequences to being a recipient of the Gospel of Grace. It can be dangerous in your own life, because Christ expects you to respond to it, by sharing it with others in ways which might be inconvenient and uncomfortable. It can also be dangerous and chilling, when we see others receive this grace, when we don't think they deserve it either. Either way, there is an extreme "chill" factor to grace, which we need to "factor" into our thinking. And there is a greater need for us to be prepared to be like Paul, and persevere with the gospel of grace, no matter what the cost.

P - Dear Jesus, Help us all to understand more completely your deeper meaning of grace to us. Help us to be prepared to follow you, no matter what the cost, no matter how hard or uncomfortable it may be. Amen.

Daily Reading Chapters 20&21

Monday, November 2, 2009

Daily Journal for Tuesday 3rd November 2009

S - Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of the Lord Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out!" Seven sons of Sceva a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you? Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding".
O - The name of Jesus is so powerful that both light and darkness respond to it in extreme ways. These Jews were more than likely unbelievers but working in Jesus name. It seems as if they were having success, driving out demons. But, then they cam to a man with a demon who didn't recognize to whom they belonged. It's incredible to think that when we belong to Jesus the demons also recognize and know us. This must be a truth for all believers. These men were playing with fire. They were working in Jesus' name (which was so powerful) yet were not covered by His name. (because of their lack of personal commitment to Him). As a result - they were beaten and overcome.
A - This is a timely reminder of the power of Jesus, and the authority he has given to us as His children. In His name, mighty miracles can be accomplished by ordinary people like me. As a believer even the demons know who Gayle Hill is! As a daughter of the King, and as I remain in him, I am open to claiming the authority I have "in Him". This authority extends to invoking demons to flee "in His name". But it is also a timely reminder of the real power that is at work in the heavenlies, light and darkness.
P - Dear Jesus, help us all to become more aware of the your powerful name in fighting the enemy. Help us to remain deeply within you so we are protected in this battle - in your Holy name, I pray. Amen.
Daily Reading from Acts Chapters 18&19