You can find the text and PowerPoint here. The recording will be available soon.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.” This verse was written to the people of God in a time of exile and captivity. They were in a foreign land, under foreign rule. But God spoke to them of a time of blessing and restoration.
It is in the same chapter as the well known verse that is on bookmarks, t-shirts, cups and Bible covers. Verse 11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Even in the midst of captivity, God was speaking to the people about blessings and restoration. A time when things would be better. A key to times being better was in today’s verse – finding God as a result of seeking Him with all of their hearts.
For us today, that promise of God stills rings true. He still will be found if we search and seek for Him with all of our hearts. Just like in Luke 15 with the stories of the lost coin, lost sheep and lost son, God is still in the lost and found business.
If you feel lost and alone, or you feel like you are in a foreign land under foreign rule, I would encourage you to come back to God today. Prayerfully seek Him with all of your heart. Tell Him how you feel. Ask Him for help. Ask Him to be with you. He will come and He will be found.
Just like the people of God in the Old Testament who wandered away from God, you can come back today.
Dear God, I feel lost and alone. I feel like I have gone my own way and not included You like I once did. Today I seek You with all of my heart. I pray today that I will find You and You will find me. I want to walk with You again. Jesus I thank You that You died on the cross for my sin. I ask You to be my Lord and Saviour again. I commit my life to You afresh. Please restore me today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Philippians 2:13 NLT – For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
I love the fact that God is always working in me to give me the desire to do what pleases Him. From the moment I came to Christ nearly 30 years I can see a big change in my life. I am not the person I used to be.
Part of this is because I committed to follow Jesus wholeheartedly I committed to read the Bible everyday, pray everyday and looks for ways to serve Him everyday. But an even bigger part is God working in me to bring about the change He wants and needs in me.
My heart has changed. My desires have changed. My goals have changed. My dreams have changed. What was all about me, is now all about Jesus and His Kingdom. And I am hoping that these changes bring glory to Jesus.
How about you? What changes have you seen in your life? How has God been working in you? I think this is worth reflecting on today.
Psalm 95:1-7 NLT – Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him.  For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods.  He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains.  The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.  Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,  for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!
When I read the passage above, I can’t help but want to sing and worship and kneel before my God. He IS the great King above all gods. He DOES hold everything in His hands. It ALL does belong to Him. And we ARE His people He watches over and cares for. Praise Him!
Psalms 77:11-12 NLT says, “But then I recall all you have done, O Lord ; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.”
One thing I try to do in my walk with the Lord is to remember the wonderful things He has done in my life, in my family and in our churches.
Remembering the great things the Lord has done encourages us to celebrate the victories He has won. It also encourages us that God comes through when we are going through hard times now.
Here are a few things to remember…
1. When God brought healing when you were unwell.
2. When God brought provision when you did not have much money.
3. When God opened a door of opportunity when all doors seemed closed.
4. When God protected you when it seemed like trouble was pressing in from all sides.
5. When God sustained you when you thought you couldn’t take another step.
6. When God brought strength at the loss of a loved one.
7. When God sent Jesus in to the world and purchased your salvation
8. When God used you to meet someone elses needs.
There are so many wonderful deeds God has done in all of our lives. He is always at work. He is always moving. He is always there.
Let us remember His mighty wonderful deeds today.
I found this interesting list of helps from the Bible online. I thought I would share it here…
The Bible is a storehouse that offers practical advice on the following everyday issues:
There is much to be discovered. One way to make Bible reading interesting is to assume the role of a hunter.
With a highlighter as your weapon, and your prey a subject (God’s attributes, miracles, fulfilled prophecies, grace, unknown facts, salvation, heaven, baptism, or precious promises), set out to underline everything the Bible has on that subject.
Take notes. Become an expert. —Author Unknown
Part of my Bible reading plan today touched on a section from Luke that Jesus taught the people about humility. It reminded me of something that happend to me a number of years ago. It says…
Luke 14:8-11 NLT – “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited?  The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!  “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests.  For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
As I read this today I was reminded of a funny story that happened to a friend and I a few years back.
We went to a National Athletics meet at our local stadium in Perth. All the top Australian athletes were there and a number from overseas. We went because we loved to watch the top athletes compete.
Anyway, the grandstand was pretty full except for one area. Part of it was roped off and some of it was open. My friend and I said, “Wow, these are great seats with a great view. Why don’t we sit here?”
As time went on people were walking past us and saying hello and nodding at us. At first we thought everyone was being really friendly, but then we realised they must think we are VIPs.
I had an Olympic Games tshirt on and my friend had a similar sporting top on. And because se we both exercised a lot, we both looked fit. People must have thought we were athletes who were invited as VIPs!
Eventually someone came up to us and asked to see our accreditation. Which surprisingly we did not have. We were then asked to move to the more “common” seats.
For us it was a bit of a laugh, but the people in charge were upset and felt a little bit embarrassed that they did not check our accreditation earlier.
I haven’t thought about this story for a long time, but today’s reading reminded me. Without knowing we took the seats that were in the place of honour and we were asked to move. So I can relate to this story. It wasn’t quite at a wedding feast, but it was an important event.
It has taught me to always look at where I am going to sit and make sure I chose the humble seats, not the best seats. It is much nicer to be upgraded, than downgraded!
Hello all, I have just made an update to my sermons page. Previously I had a list of sermons by title and the most recent ones were at the top of the page.
I updated it just now to group them in to sermon series. Generally when I preach I like to preach in a series by working my way through a book of the Bible or in a series of messages with a series title.
With this change I think this will make it easier if you are looking for a sermon on a particular idea or book of the Bible.
Many of the sermons have the full text and audio. If you are interested you can find them here on my sermons page.
Psalm 91:9-16 NLT says, “If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,  no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.  For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.  They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.  You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!  The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.  When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.  I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
Here is a great passage for encouragement today. It talks about making the Lord your shelter. There is so much in these verses, but two great promises jump out at me today.
1. If we make the Lord our shelter no evil will conquer us. It promises that angels will protect us wherever we go. It goes on to say He will protect those who trust in His name.
2. If we make the Lord our shelter He promises to rescue us when we call on Him. And His Word says He will honor us, reward us with a long life and give us salvation.
These words really encourage me. It is great to know the Lord God, promises to always look out for us. He is our King and our protector.