A special utensil

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 “In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”

In these verses the Apostle Paul urges Timothy to be the kind of person God could use for his best and most noble purposes. He tells Timothy not to settle for less than God’s highest and best.

As Christians we need to allow God to use us as an instrument of His will. How do we do this? We do this by staying close to him and keeping ourselves pure, so that sin and its consequences does not get in the way of what God wants to do in our lives.

Of course God can forgive us when we stumble and repent, but how much better it is to stay close to Him and ready to be used by him at a moment’s notice.

Let’s all purpose in our hearts to keep ourselves pure so we can be special utensils for God’s will and good purposes today. Let’s be ready for every good work.

God Bless,
Dave

An Introduction to the Bible

Hello all

I have added a study to my website that I have prepared for people who are new to the Bible. Usually I take people through it in a small group or one on one.

It covers things like how Christians see the Bible, how the Bible fits together, the Old and New Testaments, reasons why we can trust the Bible and what the Bible says about itself.

If you are interested you can find it here http://www.passionaustralia.org/Bibleintroduction.html.

God Bless,

Dave

How do I know I am saved?

Last night my wife, kids and I were talking about being assured of our salvation. We talked about verses from the Bible that assure us we are saved and going to spend eternity with God.

Here are the verses we looked at…

John 3:16 – 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 1:12 – Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

1 John 5:13 – I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Romans 10:13 – Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Hebrews 9:28 – Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

These verses tell us that because of my faith and trust in Jesus that we are saved. We are adopted into God’s eternal family  because of what Jesus has done for us.

It was a good discussion and a good reminder to have verses memorised about this subject.

God Bless,

Dave

 

What God requires of us message

Hello all,

I just put together a message that is based on a series of blog posts I did last year. It is titled “What God requires of us” and looks at a number of passages from the Old and New Testaments.

If you are interested you can find it here http://www.passionaustralia.org/whatGodrequires.html.

God Bless,

Dave

Unused Gears and Spiritual Gifts

I really enjoyed today’s Our Daily Bread. It used a cycling analogy when talking about spiritual gifts. I copied and pasted it below….

Unused Gears
by Julie Ackerman Link

Be ready for every good work. —Titus 3:1

My first bike had one gear. Whether I was going fast or slow, uphill or downhill, that gear did everything. My next bike had three gears: one for level surfaces, one for going uphill, and one for going downhill. My third bike had ten gears, allowing me an even broader range of choices. Even though my last bike had several gears to choose from, I didn’t use all of them every time I rode. Some were best suited for starting and climbing, others were reserved for gaining speed, and others were best for a leisurely pace. But the thing about gears is this: Even though I wasn’t using all of them at the time, it didn’t mean I would never need them.

The same can be true in regard to our spiritual gifts and abilities. During times when I feel I am not being used to do certain things I once did, instead of feeling useless and unappreciated I thank God for the “gear” I’m currently able to use. Just because a skill is not needed right now doesn’t mean it never will be.

Our spiritual gifts are needed in different ways at different times. Needs and circumstances change in unforeseeable and unpredictable ways. The apostle Paul reminded Titus, “Be ready for every good work” (Titus 3:1). May that be true of us as well.

Heavenly Father, I need to remember that
what I do is up to You, but how I do it is up
to me. Whether I am busy or still, may I be
peaceable, gentle, humble, kind, and loving.

Keep your tools ready—God will find work for you.

Friendship and fearing God

The Bible says in Psalm 24:15 “14?The LORD is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.”

I love the thought behind this verse – being friends with God. “The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.”

God offers intimate and lasting friendship to those who fear (revere and have deep respect for) Him, to those who hold Him in highest honor and put Him above all things.

If we stop and thik about it for a moment, what relationship could ever compare with having the Lord of all creation for a friend?

I love my wife and kids with all of my heart, but having God as a friend is a relationship at a whole new level. It is on an eternal level.

As believers our everlasting friendship with God will grow as we respect and honor Him more and more. It is a promise found in Psalm 24:15!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to revere and honour You in the right way. Help me to put You above all things in my life. I pray that as I do this, our friendship will grow and grow. Amen.

God Bless,
Dave

Gaining and losing

I was reading Mark 8 this morning. Verse 36 jumped out at me. It says, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (Mark 8:36 NLT)

Then I read what it said in my Life Application Study Bible notes about the verse. I thought it was good…

“Many people spend all their energy seeking pleasure. Jesus said, however, that worldliness, which is centered on possessions, position, or power, is ultimately worthless.

Whatever you have on earth is only temporary; it cannot be exchanged for your soul.

If you work hard at getting what you want, you might eventually have a “pleasurable” life, but in the end you will find it hollow and empty.

Are you willing to make the pursuit of God more important than the selfish pursuits?

Follow Jesus, and you will know what it means to live abundantly now and to have eternal life as well.”

Great thoughts for today from the LASB.

God Bless,
Dave

Meditating on the Shepherd

Psalm 63:6-8 says, “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.”

King David said these words when he was hiding in a desert cave from his enemies. I could imagine him laying awake at night wondering what would happen to him.

During sleepless, uncomfortable nights, David thought about God. Instead of counting sheep, he meditated on his Shepherd!

He reviewed all the ways God had already helped him, and he greeted the next day with songs of praise.

In my wakeful nights when I am churning over things, I try to make it a point to reflect on the times of God’s faithfulness to us as a family.

I find this helps me to have an eternal perspective and puts things in their right place. It reminds me that God is in control and He is with me.

I find doing this gives me far more rest than any of the other things I might count. Meditating on the Shepherd is far better than counting sheep!

God Bless,
Dave

25 statements of Jesus

I found these on a blog I follow today. It is 25 statements of Jesus that will change your life:

“Take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37)

“Go and learn what this means ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice’” (Matthew 9:13)

“Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2)

“Ask and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7)

“If the Son has set you free you are free indeed” (John 8:36)

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30)

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“You are the light of the world” (Matthew 6:14)

“Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)

“The greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11)

“Take heart, it is I. Do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:31)

“I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:7)

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

“If you love me you will obey what I command” (John 14:15)

“Your give them something to eat” (Mark 6:37)

“A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit” (Matthew 7:18)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8)

“This people honors me with their lips but their heart is far from me.” (Mark 7:6)

“You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8)

“Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink…” (Matthew 6:25)

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do to them” (Matthew 7:12)

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:29)

“It is finished.” (John 19:30)

I think it would be a great idea to memorise these verses.

God Bless,
Dave

Fear of man is a snare

The Bible says in Proverbs 29:25?”Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”

Fear of people can hamper everything you try to do. In extreme forms, it can make you afraid to leave your home, to speak in front of other people or to do the things we know God want us to do.

By contrast, the fear of God—which is not so much being afraid, it is having a deep respect, reverence, and trust—is very liberating.

Why would we fear people who can do us no eternal harm? Luke 12:4 reminds us of this, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.”

Instead, as Christians we should trust the eternal God who can turn the harm intended by others into good for those who look to Him.

If you have a fear of man that is a snare to you at times, I would encourage you to look to God today. Trust Him with today and trust Him with your future. He promises to keep you safe.

God Bless,
Dave