Bring it back Lord

“O Lord, come back to us! How long will you delay? Take pity on your servants! Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory. And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭90:13-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There are times in our walk with the Lord that it seems like things are just not happening. It feels like God is not with us, all our efforts are in vain and we are not seeing Him work in our lives.

If we are honest with ourselves and others, this is true for all of us. We all get in to a spiritual funk at times and we feel like we are just going through the motions.

Today’s passage is a great passage. It is in the form of a prayer. In it it has a number of this we can pray and ask God for.

1. Bring back Your presence – God doesn’t leave us. The Bible tells us this in a number of places. But for some reason at times it seems like He is further away than usual. A good place to start when you feel like this is to pray with David, “O Lord, come back to us”.

2. Bring back the joy – all of us go through times when we lose the joy of the Lord. Our lives become dull and dreary and the joy is gone…or very little remains. Again we can pray, “Saisfy us each morning with Your unfailing love, so we can sing again”.

3. Bring back the good – again there are seasons in our lives where it seems like the good is gone. We may still have many blessings like our faith, our families, our home and provision, but it feels like a lot has been stolen from us. “Replace the evil with good and let us see You work again and Your glory” should echo the cries of our hearts in these times.

4. Bring back Your approval – God’s approval is the ultimate approval in all creation. Knowing that you are loved, forgiven and accepted by God as His child for eternity is the greatest thing we can have. But at times, for whatever reason, we lose sight of His unfailing love and approval. “Lord show us Your approval and bring success” is what we need to ask for.

All of us. Let me say it again, all of us, as Christians go through desert times when it seems like God is far from us. It is in these times that we can pray with the Psalmist the words of Psalm 90:13-17.

We can ask God to bring back His presence, His joy, His goodness, and His approval.

Blessings,

Dave

Read it slowly and break it down

Sometimes to get the most out of Scripture we need to just read it slower and break it down. Take the following passage for example…

“Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” Psalms‬ ‭103:1-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It would be easy to speed read this passage and gloss over a lot of it. But if we take our time and break it down, there is so much in it.

  1. It starts with praise and blessing God with all our hearts
  2. Never the forget the good things he has done
  3. Forgives all my sins
  4. Heals all my diseases
  5. Redeems me from death
  6. Crowns me with love
  7. Crowns me with tender mercies
  8. Fills my life with good things
  9. Renews my youth

When we take the time to really read Scripture and meditate on it, we find so much more than we do when we speed read.

Why not take some time to pause and reflect on each of the above points today.

Blessings,
Dave

Two fixes for stress and anxiety

Two words come to mind when I talk to people who are stressed or suffer from anxiety – give and fix. These two words are key words from 1 Peter 5:7 and 2 Corinthians 4:18.

1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Notice the bolded words? In the first verse it says to give all of our worries to God. Not some, ALL. My philosophy is that if a problem is stressful enough to worry about, it is big enough to give it to God in prayer.

Once we have given our worry or cares to God, we have to focus or fix our gaze on heaven. As the verse says, the things we see now will soon be gone. While our lives in heaven are eternal.

From my experience – worry, stress and anxiety – require me to refocus my thoughts to God and His Kingdom. When I focus too much on this life and it cares, my mind becomes distracted and fear rises up.

So today, let us purpose in our hearts to give our worries to God and fix our hearts and minds on His eternal Kingdom.

Blessings,

Dave

Great words of the Gospel sermon series

I put a sermons series I did at Bruce Rock church on my sermons page today. It is titled, “The Great words of the Gospel”.

It is a series of sermons on salvation, redemption, reconciliation, regeneration and imputation. You can find them on my sermons page or click on them below.

The sermons have full text and audio.

Blessings,
Dave

Discipleship booklet used by churches

Each month I receive requests for churches or groups to use our free discipleship booklet for their new Christians.

Some churches use it for their welcome pack for new Christians, some use it train their team to disciple others and some use it for their youth group Bible studies.

It is a great feeling to get the emails. It is great to know something you originally wrote for your own kids is being used around the world to bless others in their faith.

One question I am often asked is “Why do I give it away for free?”. The answer is I want to bless people and make an impact for God’s Kingdom, more than I want money.

The other things people say about the booklet is they love how simple it is, that it covers the main things they want people to know and how it has Bible memory verses.

If you would like to download the booklet you can find it here. 

If you have the chance, I would appreciate if you could share this post on social media or like it on WordPress. That would be a great help.

Blessings,
Dave

Encourage and live well

Titus 2:6-7 NLT – In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. [7] And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.

In these two verses there are a couple of good principles we can all put into practice.

1. Encourage the younger generation

The first is that Paul wants the older people in the church to encourage and teach the younger ones. Paul saw this as a very important thing. In general older people who have followed Christ for a time have learned valuable lessons they can pass on. As devoted followers of Christ we need to pass our lessons of following Christ on to the next generation, so more people will hear about Christ and follow Him.

2. Live well

The second is the importance of living well. This is vital as a life lived well backs up our claims and teaching as Christ followers. If we claim to be following Christ and live like the rest of the world, we are not only deceiving ourselves, but we are not letting our light shine in a positive way for Christ. Paul wants us reflect Christ in everything we do. Not just some things, every thing!

So today let us make sure to encourage the younger generation and live in a way that honours God. We never know who might need encouragement or who is watching. Let us let our lights shine today.

Blessings,
Dave

Website updates

Hi all, I have made some updates to my main website in the last week or so. If you would like to check them out, you can find them here at www.PASSIONAustralia.org.

Some of the things you might like to check out are below.

We really hope you are blessed by these resources. Our heartbeat is to bless and encourage you on your journey of faith and life in Christ.

Blessings,
Dave

Helping out

One of the things I love about being involved with ministry is helping out others. I like helping people both inside and outside of church and also in my workplace.

One thing in particular I like is being able to do is help people with church roles they are unable to do. We had an example on the weekend where someone could not do communion at the last minute.

I was able to pray, look at this website, and see if there was anything suitable for communion. I recently led communion in Bruce Rock and talked about the anguish Jesus felt while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

This fit in with the service and because I had done it recently, it was still fresh in my mind. And as it often does, it fit in with the songs and theme of the service.

Serving God is a great joy for me. Especially when I can step up and help others in church. It is such a blessing to be able to do this when I am needed.

How about you? In what ways do you like to help others in the church, the community or the workplace? I think that is worth reflecting on today.

Blessings,
Dave