Matthew 5 This is not a list that you an

Matthew 5

This is not a list that you and I need to strive to become. Though that is how they have been used.

These are rules of the kingdom but not rules to keep.

These are the qualifications for entrance to God’s kingdom but not qualifications to pass.

If these are rules to the kingdom then we don’t make the kingdom.

If you cannot take any more (poor in sprit); if your heart is broken (those who mourn); if you are not pushing yourself forward all the time (the meek); if those who have harmed you have not got justice or if you long to be free yourself (hunger and thirst for righteousness); if you refuse to walk over people to get to where you want to be (merciful); if you focus less on outward appearances for the praise of men (pure in heart); if you are trying to stop the fighting (peacemakers); if you are losing for refusing to give up (persecuted); if you are any one of these people today then Jesus says to you:

You are welcome. Come on into my Kingdom. I have come for you. I am here for you.

Matthew 4 v18-22 God chooses ordinary pe

Matthew 4

v18-22 God chooses ordinary people.

If we look at these disciples they were just ordinary guys, doing ordinary jobs, but at this moment in time they were being chosen for an extraordinary task.

These men were young, probably not particularly intelligent, may have been good looking but may have not, but whatever their characteristics funny or not, sporty or not, it didn’t matter, Jesus chose them.

And it’s the same for us today. God wants you. He wants to be a part of your life, He wants you to go and do extraordinary things for Him, it doesn’t matter what talents we have, or gifts we possess, how beautiful we are. He thinks you are amazing and full of potential. He values you and your life more than you’ll ever realise. He’s desperate to know you. God, wants you as a close friend. He’s actually chosen you, how mind blowing is that?! God, the God of the entire universe loves you and is interested in you. You don’t have to be anybody else, he wants you as you.

God’s not like us; He doesn’t choose people like we do on their merit.

So the invitation goes out. Follow me. Jesus had made his choice. However they had to respond. It was their call.

“I baptize you with water for repentanc

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Matthew 3

If the Bible regards it as the supreme need of the church and the final gift of God; if the prophets of old associated it with the Messiah; if our God is a consuming fire; if the gift of the Holy Spirit is a baptism by fire; if Christianity is a religion of fire, if we are saved by fire; if fire is so important then what exactly is it, what is the understanding of fire?

At Pentecost see past the phenomena, the noise like a violent wind, the tongues of fire, speaking in tongues, drunken behaviour and you will see men and women whose lives were saturated with the Spirit of God. The passion for God possessed them with an intensity of a fire. They burned and they shone for Jesus. The spirit of cold obedience was kindled with an eager devotion; a holy passion for righteousness, a consuming enthusiasm for the salvation of the lost. They were sold out for Jesus. The baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire was seen in their passion for Him who had died for them.

There are many on the journey for another day of fire. The day of judgement will be a day of fire. It will burn like a furnace. No excuses that day. Time will be up. Every person will stand before God. Books will be opened and your life will be looked at. What will be your defence? If it is not the blood of Jesus then there is no defence.

Who can save people from this plight? Jesus Christ. Only Jesus.

Who will tell people that truth? You. Only You.

We need the fire of God today.

When it feels like not even God can inte

When it feels like not even God can intervene. Matthew 2
Know this:
God has already prepared the way.

They went to bed that night blessed. The magi had gone but had left behind expensive and substantial gifts. This was a high time for Joseph and Mary. They were overcome with such provision – what are we going to do with all this, this is too much? Within hours they would realise that God had provided at just the right time for them. They would need the gifts from the Magi to get them through the next period of time, on the journey and staying in a foreign country, Egypt.
When it feels like God cannot change the events of your life, take a step back, turn back the clock, it may only be for a few hours, but turn it back and you will find that He has been preparing you and providing for you in all that you will need for this period of time.

Know this:
God is found in the unsafe, insecure and dangerous places of our lives.

Nothing about this story is safe.
Mary’s conception could have split the relationship for good.
Caesars census and journey to Bethlehem could have injured the heavily-pregnant Mary.
Herod is searching to kill their child.
If we were God we would have written a different story.
God is saying ‘I am fully in control in such circumstances. I can be trusted.’

When it feels like not even God can intervene He can and He probably already has.

I started in January 2012 to write an ap

I started in January 2012 to write an application of a chapter of the Old Testament every day, a blog of no more than 350 words. I did it to help the people in my church understand that every chapter of the Bible can help our journey in this life. Even though I have had a considerable change of direction I continue to write but for a wider readership. Thank you to the church in Dewsbury and thank you for everyone who still takes the time to read it from all over the world. With so much available these days I do appreciate it and I pray God will continue to speak to you through His Word.

And so the New Testament …!

Matthew 1

The most amazing happening God ever did, the incarnation of Christ, happened because of a set of circumstances that were unpleasant, challenging, offensive and dangerous. God took hold of these circumstances of life and used them as tools in his hand. Don’t ignore or rubbish your circumstances.

It wasn’t great for Mary but she was willing for God to seriously mess up her future. Are you?

It wasn’t great for Mary but she conceived, she submitted to an action outside of her. Can you? Or are you preconceived? Will you adopt new plans for your life?

It wasn’t great for Joseph, It can be difficult when the natural evidence is convincing.

It wasn’t great for Joseph but he was open to the changing of his mind, he became responsible for something that was nothing directly to do with Him and he separated himself so as not to bring any doubt to the miracle. Will you?

It was great for God it always is, though it may not look so to begin with. ‘Jesus’ meaning ‘God saves’ was the most common name at the time, there were many with that name.

God can hide the fulfilment of your promise in the ordinariness of life to give it time to grow.

It may not be great but we do have a great God.

Malachi 4 Malachi is ‘my messenger’. T

Malachi 4

Malachi is ‘my messenger’. That’s the leader. An under-shepherd.
A leader:-
Who believes that the best day is yet to come, v1
Who believe in the need to confront sin, v1
Who believe in the power of Christ to save, v2
Who believe in the releasing from what contains, v2
Who believe in their authority over the evil one, v3
Who believe that choices for right living are paramount, v4
Who believe in the power of the Spirit, v5
Who believe in reconciliation through repentance, v6

Malachi 2 So guard yourself in your spir

Malachi 2

So guard yourself in your spirit

God’s responsibility is to test us, to search us and to weigh is in the balance.
Our responsibility is to guard ourselves.
Don’t let everyone into your life. Don’t get involved with everything. You do not have to experience it all. People who know everything and have experienced it all are often stupid.

Guard yourself and your attitudes and actions will then be guarded.
Guard yourself and you will then govern your speech.
Guard yourself and you will prevent spiritual disease in you and others.

Malachi 1 Israel had expected a revival

Malachi 1

Israel had expected a revival of their nation after the exile, they were now disappointed.
The Messiah had still not arrived.
Israel was still under Persian rule.
They were still suffering.
A spiritual apathy swept over them.
The priests were burnt out, too tired to bring sacrifices.
God was questioned over why the wicked prosper.
God came to them through Malachi after which He would be silent for 400 years until the Messiah did come.
And God says a few words that every generation needs to hear and it was said in a continuous sense: I have loved you, I do love you, I will love you.
However …
1. Your offerings have defiled me.
What you give to God is what you think of Him. Your revelation of God determines your offering of service to Him.
2. You are lighting useless fires.
The fire on the altar of sacrifice is for our lives not for our excitement.
3. You are bored of your duties, v13
The most miserable, joyless, alienated, tedious, irrelevant people can be Christians if they really work at it.
4. You have become a cheat.
Looking good is fairly easy.
A second however …
God says, I have a dream! v11
His name (Jesus) will be great and in every place of the world incense (prayer) and offerings (praise) will take place.
That dream is now a reality.
Jesus all over the world drawing people back to God through prayer and praise.
He is drawing you now. Calling you … Prayer and Praise … God’s dream for you.

Zechariah 14 It’s all about Him. God is

Zechariah 14

It’s all about Him.
God is the recovery, v1.
God is behind the circumstance, v2.
God is fighting, v3.
God’s glory is returning, v4.
God is my escape, v5.
God is my new day, v6.
God’s Spirit will flow, v8.
God will be worshipped, v9.
God exalts me, v10.
God secures my life, v11.
God gives to me abundantly, v14.
God calls people to me, v16-20.
God reinstates my purpose, v20.
God brings me into holiness, v20.