Come let us sing and worship Him

Psalm 95:1-7 NLT – Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. [2] Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. [3] For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods. [4] He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. [5] The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too. [6] Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, [7] 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!

Remember His mighty deeds

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.

Blessings,

Dave

Need advice, look in the Bible

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:

  • Love (1 Corinthians 13).
  • Leadership (Nehemiah).
  • Laziness (Proverbs 6:6–8).
  • Materialism (Deuteronomy 8; Ecclesiastes; Luke 12:15).
  • Investments (Proverbs; Matthew 25).
  • Household responsibilities (Proverbs 31).
  • Disappointment (Psalm 121; Philippians 4:6–7).
  • Satisfying relationships (Colossians 3).
  • Overcoming weakness (2 Corinthians 12:7–9).
  • Marriage faithfullness (Proverbs 6:25–29; Hebrews 13:4).
  • Aging (Ecclesiastes 12).
  • Marital bliss (Song of Solomon).
  • Courage (Esther).
  • Hope (John 14; 2 Peter 1:3).

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

Jesus teaches about humility and a funny story

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? [9] 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! [10] “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. [11] 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!

Blessings,
Dave

Making the Lord your shelter

Psalm 91:9-16 NLT says, “If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, [10] no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. [11] For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. [12] They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. [13] You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! [14] The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. [15] When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. [16] 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.

Blessings,
Dave

Putting God F.I.R.S.T.

I was talking with someone the other day about how important it is to put God first in our lives. As we talked I shared with them a part of one of my previous sermons. I thought I would share it today…

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”

There are two things contained in this verse.

  1. Seek God’s Kingdom above all else
  2. Live righteously or live right.

This doesn’t need much explanation. It is pretty straight forward. It simply means to put God first place in our lives. A have a helpful acrostic about putting God FIRST.

F – Finances – Are you putting God first in your finances? Does He get the first portion or the leftovers? Are you living generously?

I – Interests – What are you most passionate about? What do you dwell on most of the time?

R – Relationships – Is God first in your relationships? Is He your most important relationship?

S – Schedule – Where does God fit into your schedule? Is He first or squeezed in somewhere? Is He left out?

T – Troubles – Where do you look to or lean on when troubles come your way? Is He your anchor in the storm?

Blessings,
Dave

Love for a church and the people

Three out of the last four weeks I have been to the church I was Pastor of for just under two years. It had been the best part of a year since I had been there before that.

It is amazing how once you have Pastored a church how much love you retain for the church and the people who call the church home. You really do hold the people in your heart.

I can remember when I started at the church how much I prayed, “God help me to love and care for the people who call this church home. I pray that You will love them through me too”. It was on my heart and on my lips every day.

Looking back that was a big prayer to pray and I probably didn’t fully understand it when I prayed, but it was one that I feel God was very happy to answer. And He didn’t hold back!

This week I am preaching at the church. I am really looking forward to it. Although I am not Pastor, I want God’s best for the church that stills holds a big place in my heart. I am hoping to bless them all this week.

Early next week I will share the text, audio and PowerPoint on here.

Blessings,

Dave

Bivocational Pastors

One group of Pastors I really respect are Bivocational Pastors. Over the years I have known quite a few Pastors who work in a secular job during the week and Pastor their churches for little or no financial reward.

One of my heroes was a Pastor who worked four days a week for a furniture company for many years, so his church could purchase a building for them to hold services in. The money which would have paid him, paid for the church.

This example has always stayed with me. It has always inspired me. In my last role for my church I was paid a few days a week by the church. But over time this became tight for the church and very tight for us as a family.

As I said in a recent post about Elder based church leadership, country churches in our region have ageing populations and declining incomes. I think this will lead to more churches being led by Elders and/or Bivocational Pastors.

This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. Now that I have a part-time job at our local hospital, being a Bivocational Pastor might be an option for us as a family. It would be a way for us to use our gifts and bless a church, and require little or no finances from the church.

It is something that will require a lot of prayer and discussion. And as with all things with God and His Kingdom, time will tell if this is something God wants for us!

Blessings,
Dave

Peace with God this Easter

Easter is a great time to stop and think about life – where we are at and where we are going.

Thirty years ago at Easter I explored the true meaning of Easter. I went to church with some friends and heard about Christ.

Over the coming months I explored the claims of the Bible and learned what the Easter message was all about.

I learned that at Easter Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sin on Good Friday and on Easter Sunday He rose to life.

Jesus conquered sin and death and He offered me a new life in Him as a result. In July of 1989 I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour.

I found true and lasting peace with God. That day changed my life forever.

If you would like to find peace with God, you can visit this page on my website – Peace with God.

Easter Blessings,

Dave