Meditating on God and His works

One of the things the Bible tells us to do is meditate. It does not mean to sit on a hill with our legs crossed and chant. It is talking about meditating on the things of God. But what are these things we are supposed to meditate on?

1. Meditate on God Himself – Psalm 63:6 says, “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night”. We should meditate on God and who He is. Reflect upon His character and attributes.

2. Meditate on God’s Laws – In Psalm 119:15-16 it says, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word”. It goes on to say in verse 97 that we should love God’s Law and meditate on it all day long.

3. Meditate on God’s promises – Psalm 119:148 says, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises”. When we meditate on God’s promises we are reminded of all He has done for us in Christ and all He is going to do when Jesus comes back.

4. Meditate on God’s love – In Psalm 48:9 it says, “Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love”. God promises to always love us and to never leave us. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to come and bring us eternal life” (John 3:16).

5. Meditate on God’s works – Psalm 77:12 says, “I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds”. Consider all the great works God has done in the Bible throught history, all the great works He has done in the world and all the great work He has done in our lives.

Meditation is a good thing. It helps us to focus on God, all He has done and all He is going to do.

God Bless,
Dave

Finding rest in His shadow

I opened up Facebook this morning to have a quick look at things. The first thing I noticed was WorshipWord’s verse for the day. It said…

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. PSALM 91:1

It was a great way to start my day. What a great verse and a great thought. Those who live in the shelter of God will find rest.

I know this personally. I have experienced it through some pretty hard times. Living in God’s shadow brings peace, hope, security and love.

If you don’t know the peace and rest that comes from living in the shadow of the Almighty, please take a few moments to read my “Finding Salvation” page.

God Bless,

Dave

God offers comfort to all

In Second Corinthians chapter one there are some verses that can give us great comfort in our times of suffering. The section heading in the NLT is titled, “God offers comfort to all”. In verse 3-4 it says…

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

In these two short verse we find that the source of all comfort comes from God. Initially God comforts us in our struggles that we face in this life. He helps us to get through to the other side. He walks with us like the story Footsteps talks about. Then as we have come through the other side, He enables us to comfort others.

I find great strength in knowing that the King and Creator of the Universe is in my corner. He is with me when I go through times of suffering. I am not alone. He tells me that He will never leave me or never forsake me.

I also find great comfort in knowing that once my suffering has passed, I will be able to comfort and support others the way God has comforted me. That is great news and gives me hope in the midst of suffering.

I hope and pray that if you are going through a time of suffering today, that you know the peace and comfort that only God can bring.

God Bless,
Dave

10 things about generosity

I was reading through 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 today. It is the section where Paul writes to the Corinthian church about their offering for the Christians in Jerusalem. As I read through this passage I noticed 10 things about being generous.

1. It inspires others to give (v2) – Paul says his boasting about their giving stirred up the other churches to think about their own giving.

2. We reap what we sow (v6) – Pauls likens our giving to a farmer sowing seed. We reap according the the amount of seed we put in.

3. It is a choice (v7) – giving is a choice that we must consider ourselves. Paul says it can’t be under compulsion and that God loves someone who gives cheerfully.

4. Our good deeds live on (v9) – The NLT says that godly people give generously to the poor and that their good deeds will never be forgotten. See also Psalm 112:9.

5. God gives us opportunites (v10) – verse 10 tells us that God gives us the seed to share and the opportunities to be generous. We need to look out for them with expectant hearts.

6. Our generosity will grow (v11) – The result of being generous is that God will enrich our lives so much that we can give even more generously.

7. Our giving meets others needs (v12) – verse 12 says that needs of Christians in Jeruslam are met by the Corinthians. Our giving meets the needs of those around us.

8. People praise God (v12) – the people on the receiving end of our gifts praise God. It is great to know when you are able to help answer someone’s prayer to God.

9. Our gifts bring glory to God (v13) – Our gifts bring glory to God and show that we are “obedient to the Good News of Christ”.

10. We will be prayed for (v14) – verse 14 tells us that the people on the receing ends of our gifts will “pray for us with deep affection”.

I love this chapter about giving and being generous. These 10 reasons are why I am committed to a life of being generous. I want to be generous with my time, my money, my encouragement, my concern and my love for those around me.

God Bless,

Dave

PS. This message is available in MP3 format here

What does the Bible say about Angels?

I was talking with someone the other day who believes in Angels. After talking a while I realised their views were not Biblical and in many ways left God out of the picture.

So what does the Bible says about Angels? I thought I would look up some verses to paint us a picture.

1. Angels are God’s messengers (Luke 1:13-16, 26-31) – an Angel told Zecheriah that his wife Elizabeth would have a son named John and also spoke to Mary about the birth of Jesus.

2. Angels praise and worship God (Revelation 5:11-12) – thousands upon thousands of Angels surround God’s throne in heaven offering constant praise and worship.

3. Angels provide for God’s people (1 Kings 19:5-8) – when Elijah was feeling tired and pretty much burned out an Angel came and met his needs.

4. Angels protect God’s people (Daniel 6:22) – when Daniel was in the lion’s den God sent an Angel to close the lion’s mouths to protect him.

5. Angels give guidance to God’s people (Acts 8:26) – In Acts we see that an Angel gave Philip directions to go to from Jerusalm to Gaza.

6. Angels carry out God’s will (Psalm 103:20-21) – this passage describes Angels as “mighty ones” who do “God’s bidding”.

7. Angels carry out God’s punishment (Acts 12:23) – When Herod did not offer God praise and refused to do His will an Angel struck him down and he died.

8. Angels were created by God (Psalm 148:2, 5) – God commanded and they were created.

9. Angels were present at creation (Job 38:6-7) – we see that Angels were present at the creation of the world when the foundations were laid.

10. Angels are NOT to be worshipped (Colossians 2:18, Revelation 19:10) – we are not to worship Angels, they are created beings and only the Creator deserves to be worshipped.

As we can see from these passages, Angels were created by God to serve God and do His will. They also care for, serve, protect, guide and provide for God’s people. Above all we see that we are not to worship Angels, as worship is alone reserved for God.

God Bless,

Dave

Clothe yourselves right

The Bible says Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

I love this verse. It is another Bible verse that is simple and straight forward. But to make sure we understand it’s meaning, let’s have a look at some of the definitions of the words.

Compassion – a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Kindness – the state or quality of being kind

Humility – the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance or rank

Gentleness – not severe, rough, or violent; mild

Patience – the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Looking up the words in the dictionary help us to gain further understanding of what the verse is telling us and how God wants us to live.

The other thing I like about this verse is that it says to “clothe ourselves”. As I read I imagine putting on these things like I put on my favourite warm jumper in winter.

Let’s all clothe ourselves with the right things today.

God Bless,
Dave

Transformed by Scripture

I have been reading the Bible for a little over 20 years. In this time it has changed me and my attitudes. Some bad ones have gradually fallen away and they have been replaced by good ones that line up with God’s Word.

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 it says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work”.

These verses tells us that one of Bible’s main functions is to correct us and teach us the right way to live. Why? So God can equip us for every good work.

I am so thankful God has given us the Bible. It has really transformed my life and my thinking. And it is still transforming me today after 20 years!

If you haven’t read the Bible in a while or perhaps have never read it, why not check out the free online version at BibleGateway.com today?

God Bless,
Dave

Fathers, do not exasperate your children

Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord”. Exasperate is not a word that is used in everyday conversation these days. So what does it mean?

Dictionary.com tells us that to exasperate someone is to “to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely” or to “to make very angry or impatient”. So as a Father, to exasperate your child would be to wind them up, to make them very angry or to inflame a situation and make it worse.

So as a Father, what are some better options if our kids are feeling stressed, angry or emotional at you or the world they live in? Here’s a few positive options.

1. A big hug – sometimes a big hug is the best way to calm down a situation. It gives your child resassurance that you are there with them and you care about what they are going through.

2. A big talk – sometimes kids get all mixed up and frustrated in their emotions or how they react to a situation. Having a calming conversation might just put things in perspective and help them to think right about the situation.

3. A big time out – sometimes kids need space to sort things out in their own mind. I know I do at times! Time alone in their bedroom, in their cubby house or with their pets might give them a chance to calm down on their own.

4. A big apology – sometimes we may be the one who exasperated our kids. We may need to humbly go to our kids and apologise for what we have done or said. We may be the parents, but we are not always right!

Let’s all purpose in our hearts today to be the best Father’s that we can be. Let’s chose to build up our kids, train them in the way of the Lord and not exasperate them as the Bible warns us not to do.

God Bless,
Dave

Serving in church

The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10 that, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”.  This verse tells us that to use our gifts to minister to others.

Not only do I try to use my God given spiritual gifts to serve, I also think it is important to use my skills I have gained in my secular work to serve God and to serve others in the church setting.

Before we moved to Merredin I worked for ten years in web design and maintenance and also did a lot of desktop publishing too. I have found that these skills can be used in my work I do for the local church.

Two of my roles at our church I regularly do is update our website and I prepare and print our weekly newsletter. These are  two simple ways of using my skills to serve God and be a blessing to others.

How about you? What skills have you gained over the years that you can use to serve God and others in church life?

God Bless,

Dave

Philemon the man

I was just reading one of the shortest books in the Bible – Philemon. It is only one chapter that contains 25 verses.

While the main theme of the book is Paul’s request to Philemon to receive back the runaway slave Onesimus, I enjoyed the section that talked about Philemon the person. In verses 1-7 we find out what type of person he is.

  1. He is a much loved co-worker (v1)
  2. He has a house church meet in his home (v2)
  3. He has a strong faith and trust in Jesus (v5)
  4. He has a great love for all of God’s people (v5)
  5. He is generous because of his faith (v6)
  6. Paul has gained much joy and comfort from his love (v7)
  7. His kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people (v7)

While it is only a short chapter, I think it speaks volumes about Philemon and who he is. He really sounds like his faith made a real difference to the way he lived and interacted with those around him.

Philemon sounds like a great example to us today. He had a great love for God and His people, he opened his home and he was a real encouragement and comfort to those around him.

God Bless,
Dave