Monday, December 14, 2009

Daily Journal reading for Tuesday 15th December 2009

S - "To him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore. Amen !
O - This beautiful and wonderful scripture comes at the end of the book of Jude. It summarizes the work of our God through Jesus Christ, and the appropriate response to Him from us. He is the glory. We are to honour and give glory to Him. He can prevent us from falling away. Jude cautions those who do so. He is able to help us to continue in our faith. He is the one and only true God. He is our Saviour, for all time, eternally.
A - I have a God who knows me, who loves me, who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and in whom, all things are possible. i need to continually praise and honour and give glory to this amazing God. He is everything to me, and I hope, everything to you. Honour His glorious Name!
P - Father, Thank you for sending Jesus to help me remain in you. Help me to honour and give glory to you in the way that is fitting. Help me to continue to live my life in a way that honours your Name. Amen.
Daily Reading 1 John5 - Jude 25

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Daily Journal Reading for Monday 14th December 2009

S - "God is love. whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him" 1 John 4:16b
O - Love is, as we know, the greatest and most essential of all emotions and powers. Yet love is so confusing. In all of us, it seems, we have an innate ability to need love, and to give love. But here, the scriptures are clear, that "true love" can never be experienced apart from God. God is "love". True Love. And if we live a life of love, we cannot live it apart from God. God's essential nature and character is "love". Therefore, as we live a life of love, we live a life filled with the awareness of God. Even more, this awareness of God, becomes more intimate. As we love, we live in Him, and He in us. The two, love and God, are inseparable.
A - As I live on this earth, I know my greatest challenge is to truly love God and others as God intends me to. That is, willingly, sacrificially, and intentionally. Sometimes this is hard, as essentially I am selfish; but love and selfishness can never exist together. So, this scripture, encourages me to live more intentionally a life of love, in the awareness and knowledge that as I do, I am truly loving God. Love and God are inseparable.
P - Father, help me to be more loving and to be more aware of the need to deepen my love for you and others as I live a life of love. Thankyou that your essential nature is truly love. Amen.
Daily Reading 1 John Chapters 2-4

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Daily Journal for Friday 11th of December 2009


S - Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced it's crops. James 5:17-19

O - Elijah was a great man but really he was just a human being like me, with the same limitations and opportunities as me. He us what he had to pray earnestly and God answered - rain stopped for three and a half years. What a prayer! Then he prayed again and it rained again. What bold prayers, what amazing answers.

A - I can pray. I have everything Elijah had. What enormous prayer am I praying? What am I earnestly praying for? The healthiest church in Australia? 5,000 people worshipping in our church within 10 years? That God would use my kids to greatly impact the world? That I might raise up 25 men & women for full-time Christian ministry within five years? Revival right across the region?

P - Father, I want to earnestly pray that our church would be the healthiest church in Australia and would double in size within the next two years. I will keep praying this prayer earnestly for the coming two years.

Daily Readings James 3 - 1 Peter 1

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Daily Journal for Wednesday 9th of December 2009


S - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

O - Because of the example of the great men and women of faith who lived and died looking forward to the fulfillment of God's promises and a heavenly home, enduring hardship and suffering, we should live in the same way. We should follow their example. How? Run the race! Run it with perseverance. Run the race that God has marked out for us, the one he's called us to run. Remove all the obstacles that might get in the way and the sin that can trip you up and run.

A - Today, I look to the example of the Biblical men and women of faith. I also look to people like Spurgeon, Finney, Keith Green, my Nanny and Grandad. I also look to men and women alive today, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, Gayle Hill, my wife Mandy. And I run. I run, seeking to do God's will, knowing that the promises are ahead and are true no matter how challenging it may be now.

P - Father, thank-you for the hope we can have in the promises you have given us. Help me to remember the example of so many Christians as I run my race. Amen.

Daily Reading - Hebrews 11-12

Monday, December 7, 2009

Daily Journal for Tuesday 8th of December 2009


S - It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31

O - The recipients of the letter to the Hebrews were in danger of hardening their hearts, falling away, stopping meeting together and throwing away their confidence. The reason seems to be because they were facing persecution (Heb. 10:32-34). The writer explains in chapter 10 that Jesus has made it possible to be forgiven and come to God once and for all and he urges them to draw near to God.

Then the writer pens verse 31. "It is a dreadful thing." I've experienced dreadful things happening to others like tsunamis, car accidents and abuse. There's a horror and fear perhaps like when you realise your child is missing in a crowd. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. We won't have to give an account of our lives to our mockers or persecutors, the media or our friends but we will have to give an account to God. To be unprepared, fallen away, to have thrown away your confidence - what a terrible, horrible thing! The living God will judge justly. Nothing but the blood of Jesus will save me.

A - Who is trying to shape my life? Who are I most in danger of following? It's it the desire to have more? Is it the influence of my friends, or the television's thoughts and influences? God has made a way for what is most important. Now that I have been covered with the blood of Jesus, once for all, I want to live everyday obeying, serving, loving, the God I have drawn near to in Christ. Today I live without fear, without hard hearts  - but with confidence that God is my God and Christ has taken the dreadful punishment I deserved on himself.

P - Father, thank-you. This verse gives me just a glimpse of the horror you have saved me from. You are good to me. Help me to share this good news with others so that they can be saved too. Amen.

Daily Reading - Hebrews 9-10

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Daily Journaling for Monday 7th of December 2009


S - Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25

O - Jesus' name means "one who saves". Jesus is able to save utterly, completely, perfectly, those who come to God through him. There is no other way - Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). But those who come to the Father through Jesus, are absolutely, emphatically, forever saved. And the reason? Not only has he paid the price for our sins and risen again so that we are completely saved, but also he intercedes for those who have come to God through him. He intercedes always, without ceasing. Right now his is interceding for us. In fact this verse he always lives to intercede for us. This is Jesus' constant stance towards us. Praying to the Father so that we who are completely saved continue on in this state, finding the strength of live each day for Him.

A - I have been saved completely! What an incredible gift of grace. There is nothing I have done to earn it. There is nothing more I need to do to keep it. Jesus has completely forever saved me. This fills me with assurance and confidence. Not in me but in Christ. I will live today with a fresh awareness that Jesus saved me completely.

Today too I am filled with wonder and awe and feel I am in a position of overwhelming grace to realise that Jesus is interceding for me. Whatever I face, Jesus is praying. Whatever challenges, Jesus is interceding. When I come to the Father, Jesus is presenting my requests.

P - Thank-you Jesus for your saving grace. Thank-you for your constant prayers. Help me to live in the truth every day that I am completely saved and you are praying for me always! Amen.

Daily Readings - Hebrews 6-8

Daily Reading for Tuesday 8th December 2009


S - "But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice, he has made perfect forever, those who are being made holy" Hebrews 10:12-14

O - We have been studying in our small group the book of Hebrews. The title is called, "From Shadow to Reality". The Law was the shadow of the fulfillment of Christ's death and sacrifice for the sins of man. No substitute such as the blood of goats or bulls could ever really appease a Holy and righteous God. The High Priest was unable, in reality, to take away the sins of the people through obeying the requirements of the law. That is why he had to repeat the offerings. Now Jesus, who is our Great High Priest, has come, and through the death of his body, he made the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all, and overcame sin. This victory, is victory indeed. Jesus has triumphed over His and our enemies, and in the process has made us perfect.
A - I can hardly imagine, believe, or be thankful enough, for this enormous gift from God. In daily life, how little we treat sin; intentional or unintentional. Yet God went to such enormous lengths to redeem that sin, through his Son, Jesus Christ. I need to be constantly aware of the cost and the sacrifice of this. This understanding should direct my behaviour, thoughts and attitudes, so that I endeavour to try to sin as little as possible.
P - Father, Help me to be more aware of the extent of your hatred for sin, and the enormous lengths you have gone to to combat sin, through Jesus. Help me to be aware of the incredible gift I have of redemption, and to walk in your ways. Amen.
Daily Readings Hebrews 9&10

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Daily Journal for Thursday 3rd of December 2009


S - For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 

O - Fan into flame, Paul says, the gift of God. This may've been his spiritual gift or his calling as a pastor which was recognised when Paul laid hands on him and prayed for him. Whatever it was, Timothy was not to let the smoldering embers go out, but to breathe fresh wind onto the gift so that it ignites into flames and gets stronger. Gifts aren't given fully developed. We need to use them and become more and more skilled in using them. Timothy was to do this facing any fear with courage, having faith in God's power, showing great love and self-discipline.

A - One of the key gifts I've been given is the call from God and from the congregation to be their pastor. I must continue to fan into flame this gift. The other is the gift of preaching. Is it a hugely important gift that can easily be neglected. I must continually fan this gift into flame, so that many, many others will hear and respond to the good news of the gospel.

P - Father, I feel I have a rare responsibility. The opportunity to speak to hundreds of people each week who are coming to hear your voice. Help me to guard this gift and fan it into flame. Amen

Daily Reading - 1 Timothy 5 - 2 Timothy 1

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Daily Journaling for Wednesday 2nd of December 2009


S - Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 1 Timothy 4:15

O - Paul says to Timothy, "Be diligent!" Persevere with care. Pay close attention as you keep going without giving up. He also says, "give yourself wholly" meaning be totally committed to it, giving all that you have completely to it. To what? To these matters. To what matters? To the gospel, to the preaching and teaching of God's Word, to training in godliness, to setting an example for the believers, to using the gifts God has given to us. Why? So that everyone may see your progress and in seeing this others will follow your example.

A - I must be constantly growing. As a pastor, Paul speaks to me. "Work hard!" "Grow!" He urges me to continually learn and grow in the task of being a pastor. Learn more, read more, pray more. Grow in preaching and teaching skills. Grow in my personally holiness. Grow in the example I set. Grow in the use of the gifts I've been given.

Instead of asking "How are you going?" I need to ask myself each day "How am I growing?" When it comes to my grow how could I be more diligent?

P - Father, thank you for my salvation - a gift given to me through Christ death and resurrection. Help me to be intentional today in growing. May I be so diligent that others see my progress. Amen.

Daily Reading - 1 Timothy 1-4