Sunday, April 4, 2010


Need I say more?

This will be the last post in this blog, at least for this year.  If you want to keep following Sharkbait go to for Sharkbait's Reef.  It's not as serious as this site, but there are some good comments there. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 40 – Holy Saturday

Sabbatum Sanctum – The last day of Holy Week. 

Christ is still in the tomb. 

In our church, we use this day to clean the church building in preparation for tomorrow.

How do we use this day to clean and prepare ourselves to welcome the risen Christ?



Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 39 – Good Friday


Last night I read Psalm 22 from the back of our church, as they slowly turned out the lights.  For those who have never read - or heard - it before, I include it here in its entirety.

A psalm of David; it speaks volumes about what Jesus had to go through.  But if you read carefully, it is also a Psalm of great hope.

And isn’t that what Good Friday is all about? 

Never forget, today might be  Friday…. but Sunday’s coming!


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
       Why are you so far from saving me,
       so far from the words of my groaning?

2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
       by night, and am not silent.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
       you are the praise of Israel. [a]

4 In you our fathers put their trust;
       they trusted and you delivered them.

5 They cried to you and were saved;
       in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
       scorned by men and despised by the people.

7 All who see me mock me;
       they hurl insults, shaking their heads:

8 "He trusts in the LORD;
       let the LORD rescue him.
       Let him deliver him,
       since he delights in him."

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
       you made me trust in you
       even at my mother's breast.

10 From birth I was cast upon you;
       from my mother's womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
       for trouble is near
       and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
       strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

13 Roaring lions tearing their prey
       open their mouths wide against me.

14 I am poured out like water,
       and all my bones are out of joint.
       My heart has turned to wax;
       it has melted away within me.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
       and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
       you lay me [b] in the dust of death.

16 Dogs have surrounded me;
       a band of evil men has encircled me,
       they have pierced [c] my hands and my feet.

17 I can count all my bones;
       people stare and gloat over me.

18 They divide my garments among them
       and cast lots for my clothing.

19 But you, O LORD, be not far off;
       O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

20 Deliver my life from the sword,
       my precious life from the power of the dogs.

21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
       save [d] me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my brothers;
       in the congregation I will praise you.

23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
       All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
       Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

24 For he has not despised or disdained
       the suffering of the afflicted one;
       he has not hidden his face from him
       but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
       before those who fear you [e] will I fulfill my vows.

26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
       they who seek the LORD will praise him—
       may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth
       will remember and turn to the LORD,
       and all the families of the nations
       will bow down before him,

28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
       and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
       all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
       those who cannot keep themselves alive.

30 Posterity will serve him;
       future generations will be told about the Lord.

31 They will proclaim his righteousness
       to a people yet unborn—
       for he has done it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 38 – Maundy Thursday

So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. (1 Thessalonians 5:6)

Whether you call it Maundy Thursday, Holy Thursday, or any of its other names, tonight is the night we commemorate Jesus last night on earth.  The occasion is usually noted for two things:  Jesus’ washing of his disciples feet; and the institution of the Last Supper.  

But after he had done these things, he went to the garden to pray with his friends.  His last hours before he was betrayed and taken away, and he chose to spend them with his closest human friends and companions.  Who all fell asleep.   Repeatedly.

It’s easy for us to chastise the disciples for their lack of faith, or stamina, but how much better are we?  How are we planning to spend tonight?  I am not suggesting that we keep a prayerful vigil in a cold church (unless you feel called to do so.)  I am suggesting that once we walk out of church today, we should try not to forget why we were there, and should try to spend some time with Jesus.  It might not be his last night of earth, but we never know when it might be ours.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 36 – Spirit living

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24-25)


Sounds easy, right?  So why do we still have problems, and try to live by the old ways?

I think the problem is that the sinful nature, you know the one we crucified, well it has a tendency to get down off the cross while we’re not looking.  Or while we are.

So each day we need to focus on bringing it back to the cross, and leaving it there.  It might not stay, but each day we’ll leave a little more of it behind.

Take care today.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 35 - Work

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men (Colossians 3:23)

I heard a story of Mother Theresa once.  It is told that a young man came to her, and told her that he wanted to serve people.  She replied, “You cannot, you will never have the strength to serve everyone who needs it.  Instead, serve GOD, and he will strengthen you.”

I don’t know if that is true, but it is a good reminder that we are not saved because GOD needs us to help him, but because serving others is our way of thanking him for our salvation. 

What simple thing can I do today, as if for GOD? 

Sunday, March 28, 2010


The start of Holy Week.  Less than a week left.


Today we celebrate.  We celebrate the fact that Jesus came to us, not just into the world, but right into our lives.  AS we commemorate the triumphant entry into Jerusalem we can shout with the crowds : “Hosanna”  “Praise to the son of David”

He didn’t just come into the world, but moved right into the city where we lived.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 34 - Peace

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. (Romans 14:19-20)

Lent is a very personal thing.  It is about our own relationship with our Lord.  Do you judge other people for their observance, or lack thereof?

Do you eat food around those who are fasting, or loudly refuse food at a meal when you are fasting? 

Do you silently condemn others for doing less than you, or nothing at all, or for their pride in their discipline?

Lent is about drawing closer to GOD, but don’t let us let it be a time for drawing further away from our brothers and sisters and fellow FISH.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 33 - Generosity

Freely you have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8b)

So what is it that we have received so freely?

  • Salvation
  • Freedom
  • Knowledge of forgiveness
  • Eternal life

If we had a cure for Cancer, and chose not to share it with others, what would that make us?  How could we live with ourselves?  Who do we think we are benefiting by keeping it to ourselves?

In the same way, we have been given the Truth, and we have gratefully received it.

Let us generously share it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 32 - Authority

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19)

We have an amazing salvation; bought for us with a price we can never fully understand.  But it goes further than that.  We were given not only our freedom from sin, but the authority over sin and the natural world, but being co-inheritors with Christ.

To put it simply, we were saved to do mighty things.

Jesus told us that if we have faith, we can move mountains.  He also tells us that because we have the Spirit, we can do greater things than even he did.

Greater things.  Than Jesus.  Who raised the dead and healed the dying. 

So why don’t we?

Because we forget the promise to us that we have the authority.

Because we let things, like sin and fear, rule our lives, instead of claiming the victory that was won for us.

What do we need to claim today?  What area of our life do we need to take authority over? 

Let’s go do it now.

Because, we can!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 31 - Restoration

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives  and release from darkness for the prisoners,  to proclaim the year of the LORD's favour and the day of vengeance of our God,     to comfort all who mourn. (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Does any of this sound familiar?  If you remember, when Jesus read this reading in the temple, he completed it by saying “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21)

But just because it is fulfilled, doesn’t mean it isn’t still a command to us today.  How are we taking the opportunity to preach the good news, and to proclaim the year of His favour?

Are we doing enough, or are we just sitting back and thinking: “Jesus did it, it’s all over.”?

We need to get in the game, and start sharing what has been given to us.  Joy of salvation.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 30 - Unity

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
(1 Corinthians 1:10)

Oooh.  Tough one!

that all of you agree with one another.’  Yeah, well that would be a lot easier if you all agreed with me you know, because I am always right. 

So how are we supposed to achieve this the?

I think the key is in “that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”  To me, this means that we need to actively seek to have the mind of Christ, so that we can be sure we are all in one accord.

And to do this, we need to be immersing ourselves in the word, and praying for the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds to what it has to say to us.  That way, we can all be of one mind – the mind of Christ, and ensure there are no divisions.

Simple.  But not easy.

So I am off to start right now.  Care to join me?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 29 - Meekness

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. (Titus 3:1-2)


I think meekness gets a bad rap.  We talk about meekness as if it means weakness.  But here we see it explained properly: Being obedient to authority, and peaceful and humble.

Note that all these are decisions, not something that just happens.  We have to choose to submit, and we have to choose to be meek.  Because that means placing our trust in someone elses strength.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fifth Sunday

Wow.  Nearly there.  Just two more weeks until Easter.

Twelve more days of Lent.

Take a moment to think back over the last four weeks, and ask yourself what you have learned.  Have we drawn closer to GOD, or has it just been a time to weep and wail and complain about our lot in life.

I hope it is the former.


Whichever experience has characterised your Lenten journey, let’s take a moment to commit ourselves to focusing on HIM over the last stretch.  It won’t be easy, but we are nearly there.


Ready, set, GOD

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 28 - Submission

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)


Okay, am I the only one who finds this hard?  Submitting is a tough one.  And if submitting to GOD is hard, how much harder to submit to men?

But we are commanded to do it, and to do it “out of reverence for Christ.” We need to choose to yield, because that is what he has commanded us to do, and what he has shown us how to do.

But what does it actually mean?

Jesus submitted.  He submitted to his Father, he submitted to the authorities, he submitted to a horrifying death for our sakes.  But that didn’t mean he was weak, or that he always did what other people wanted him to do.  We see many times that he did exactly what they did not want.

But he chose to do it for their sake; for our sake.  He yielded to what needed to be done in order to serve others.  Even if it wasn’t what they wanted him to do.

Lent is a perfect time to practise submission.  Isn’t the entire month about learning to put our own desires second to our commitment to GOD?  Denying our own bodies and minds to focus on seeking him.  Submitting to him, in hopes of finding him.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 27 - Trust

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,  which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
(Psalm 125:1)


We need a spirit of fearless reliance.  To learn to lean entirely on GOD, and to trust in his promises.

So how do we do that?  One step at a time I think.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 26 - Repentance

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. (Luke 3:8)


Lent is about many things, but 0ne of these things for me is reminding myself that I need to change.  No matter how “good” I think I am, I have a long way to go.

It is a reminder for me not to take my salvation for granted.  Not to lean on the seed that has been sown in my life, but to work out my salvation, and work on bearing fruits in keeping with repentance.

Turn, and believe.

What do I need to turn away from today?

Technical hitch days 23-25


Failure to post for three days. 

Situation will be rectified shortly.

Stay tuned

Sunday, March 14, 2010


As you read this, I am away for the weekend.  I left on Friday to go camping with some Christian friends.  Tonight I will be coming back to church to preach at the 6PM service.  Let’s hope by the time this post publishes I know what I am going to say. :-)

One of the things I like about the campsite where we are going (already are when you read this) is the fact that it is so quiet.  We are miles from anywhere, and it is just so peaceful.  In the past I have gotten a lot of writing done there, and this year I hope to get some journaling done. 

GOD speaks to us in the silences I think.  But only if we open our ears.  He has so much to say to us, and Lent is an ideal time to open ourselves up to hear it, yet we often spend the whole time making noise. 

So be still, and know that he is GOD.

And let him talk to you today.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 22 - Integrity

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
(Romans 12:17)

There’s a lot to this one.


Be careful….

It’s not just going to happen.  We need to take care, and make it our purpose to do what is right.

Do what is right…

Simple, but not easy.  Not right-ish.  Not right appearing.  Not almost right.  Do what IS RIGHT!


In the eyes…

1. Don’t just do what you think is right.  Do what everyone thinks is right. 

2. Let others see.  I know we are told to do our good works in secret, so that we can be rewarded.  But if we are going to let people see us do anything, let it rather be good works than bad.  Let them judge us all by these actions, not just us.


… of everybody.

They are all watching you.  Don’t be afraid to stand by your belief, and do what is right – even if it isn’t popular.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 21 - Confidence

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)


So what are we worried about?


What are we saying “I can’t do that.” about today?


Because it’s time to stop leaning on our own strength and understanding, and JUST DO IT. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 20 : Denial

Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

So much for prosperity Gospel.

Jesus never promised us Heaven on Earth – why would he?  We have the real thing waiting for us.  Instead he warned us that life would be hard.

Today we are on day 20 of our 40 days of lent – assuming you are counting the same way I am – and are half-way through.  20 down, 20 to go. 

We have spent the last three weeks focused on denying ourselves, so I thought today would be a good time to remind ourselves why. 

Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, and take up our cross daily.  He didn’t say we need to seek out crosses, but the world will provide us with more than enough.  During lent particularly, we deny ourselves, not for our own sake or glory, but so that we can follow in his way.  The way of the cross.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 19 - Revelation

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1:17-18)


Open the eyes of our heart Lord!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 18 - Reliability

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)

Can I be trusted?  Completely?

It is a hard spirit to develop, because we cannot develop it until we are faced with the temptation not to be faithful.  And we see every day how people fail when tested.  The news is full of it.

But it all starts with the little things.

It’s easier to avoid the temptation to cheat on your taxes, or your spouse, if you make sure you never cheat at cards.

It’s easier to never steal money from your work if you make sure you never steal paperclips.

It’s easier to always obey the law if you’ve never gone through a red robot.


So today, I will start at the bottom, and work my way up.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 17 – Holiness

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (1 Peter 1:14-16)

Probably one of the simplest ideas we will be looking at this month, but also one of the hardest.  To have a spirit of Holiness, to become Christ-like.

“Be holy, because I am holy.”


Does He really know how HARD that is?  I mean, really?

Of course.  HE knows exactly how hard it is.  And He also knows we can do it.

It tells us not to conform any longer to our old ways, so I guess it also means we need to be finding new ways to conform to.  If we want to be holy, we need to look at our behaviour, and try to make it more Christ-like. 

What Would Jesus Do?

A useful sentiment, but I think a way to apply it today would be to stop every so often, and ask: “What would I be doing if Jesus were here with me?”

Would I be watching this movie?  Would I be having this conversation?  Would I be watching TV while my wife washed up?

We might not know what Jesus would do, but I think we can guess what he would want us to do.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Ah, Sunday.  The day of rest. 

We’ve gone through a heavy path this week, and I think we need to take a rest.  To just be still, and be aware of GOD.

Lent, I think, is not about making ourselves suffer, but about using our self-denial to keep us focused on GOD.  Fasting and self-denial must never be our end in itself; we need to remember that the only reason we are even trying to be good is so that we can come closer to GOD. 

If we spend our whole day with a long face, bemoaning the grumbling in our tummy and the lack of sugar/chocolate/sleep we will never do anyone any good.  More importantly, we will fall into bed at the end of the day, having tried so hard to ‘be good’ that we forget who we are being good for. 

So let’s take a moment, and rest in is presence.

You know you want to, and so does He.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 16 : Maturity

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:11-14)

We have a simple faith, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to be stupid.  GOD never told anyone to be stupid.  (I know, I looked it up.)

When we first pick up the Bible, we probably won’t understand it.  I’ve been reading it for 25 years and it still tells me a new story every time I listen.  It was given to us as a gift, and failing to understand it is to reject that gift.

We won’t all be scholars, we might take our entire lives to to get to the same place that someone else starts at.

But the willingness to grow is what is important.  To seek to learn more.  The writer to the Hebrews says “by constant use [they] have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil”  It doesn’t say they are smarter than anyone else, or more gifted.  It says they have “trained themselves” by “constant use.”

Am I willing to grow, or am I just wanting to rest on my salvation and let others do my thinking for me?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 15 : Tenderness


Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD. (2 Kings 22:19)


Not everyone was so lucky.  This verse comes out of a larger prophecy, presented to the King of Judah, where GOD warns that he will destroy the people.  He does however promise that he will not do so until the King is dead, because the King showed a willingness to weep.


What does being tender mean?  In this context, it doesn’t mean being soft, or weak.  It means being willing to hurt over things that have gone wrong.  The King felt pain for the sin his people had brought upon themselves, and he humbled himself and wept for it.

I think this is something we lose today, especially men.  We think we have to be tough, and hard.  But we still need to be tender.  To have a place where we allow GOD to touch us, and hurt us.  We spoke earlier this week about letting GOD break our hearts for others, well I think this is the same thing.  We need to be open to his (painful) touch as much as his healing touch. 

Be a man (or woman) of GOD today, and be tender. 
Be open, and willing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 14: Compassion

During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance." (Luke 8:1-3)

I think we all know how this story ends: Jesus takes loaves and fishes, and feeds the multitude.

But it all started with a spirit of…


With some love in action, Jesus showed where his heart was.  Yesterday we asked GOD to give us hearts for others, and to break them when his heart is breaking.  Now today we need to pray for compassion.  Compassion goes beyond feeling for others, to actually doing for them.

It’s not just love, it’s love with skin on it.

What can I do for others today?  Where can I show compassion?


If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
(1 Corinthians 13:1)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 13 : Sensitivity

Luke 10:30-37 tells us the story of the Good Samaritan.  It ends with the verse “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."  Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."


What we sometimes struggle with each day, and by we I mean me of course, is that there is so much to do in the world.  Do we feed starving children, or starving adults?  Is it better to volunteer at the hospital or the soup kitchen?  If I send my money to mission, am I neglecting those closer to home?

The world is full of needs, and there are just too many to meet.

I think though, that GOD gives us a spirit of openness of heart, a sort of sensitivity to what he wants to place on our hearts.  We need to look for it each day.  To ask him to give us a part of his heart, a heart for certain people, or places.  Then when we feel our hearts breaking for that person or peoples, we know we need to do something about it.

So today, I am going to try and follow my heart, and see where, or to whom, it leads me.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 12 : Loyalty

But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." (Ruth 1:16-17)


I love the book of Ruth.  I think it is like the entire story of the Bible cut down to four chapters.  And running through it all is the spirit of…



Ruth was loyal to the relationship she had built with Naomi, despite the fact that it was not easy for her.  She didn’t just follow her when she could do something for her, but when Naomi lost everything, and went back to her own people, Ruth risked danger and suffering to follow her.

Are we loyal to people, and GOD, because of what they can do for us, or because it is the right thing to do?

Loyalty I think means we need to be honest with them, and ourselves, and that we need to think of them all the time.

How can I work on being loyal today? 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 11 : Availability

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"  And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8)


I think we are all familiar with this verse, when Isaiah shows a willingness to go; a spirit of …


Are we available?  Are we willing to go?

Have we told him that?


I know that GOD knows everything, even what is on our heart before we do, but this is not about being ready to go where we are sent, it is about being ready to go, before we are called.   Isaiah received the call, and he was ready; he didn’t have to think about it, because he wanted to do what GOD wanted of him.  He had the right spirit.

Today, I will be focusing on making sure that I am available for whatever GOD calls me to do; whether it is a mission to Ethiopia, or to put money into a beggars tin.  I will say to him “Here I am, send me.” And mean it!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Ten days of lent gone, and how are you feeling?

I hope this period is being as valuable for you as it is for me.  I know I have slipped a few times, but unlike previous years, I am not blaming myself for it.  I am just brushing myself off, and standing up again.

So as we spend the day at home, and hopefully some time at Church, let us celebrate the fact that we have the privilege of worshipping GOD freely.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 10 : Assurance


“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22)

A quarter of the way through Lent, let’s look at developing a spirit of…


We see in this reading from Hebrews that the writer is talking about drawing near to GOD in full assurance of faith.  What is this assurance, and how do we be sure of it?

If we look at the verse in it’s full context, then we see …

  • we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (v10)
  • by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (v14)
  • Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. (v17-18)

We mess up.  All the time.  What we need to do is remember that through Jesus sacrifice, we have an assurance of holiness.  We cannot earn our own holiness, but we can borrow his.


So let us today try to remember that we have been saved, and a sacrifice made for us.  Let our response be to draw near to God with a sincere heart.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 9 : Consistency

That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. (James 1:7-8)

Harsh words from Brother James there.  This verse follows on from But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6)

Now I don’t believe James is suggesting that having doubts is sinful, or that it leads to instability.  I think here he is talking about a deeper level of doubt.  I man who has no compass; a man who doubts what GOD has said to him, and does not ask for what he really wants.  A man with two hearts, who pretends to follow one, but listens to the other.

We need to set our eyes on GOD, and always have our compass pointed toward him.  We might not have any idea what his plan is for us, or what the road is; but we need to choose it all the time.

To be consistent

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 8 : Servanthood

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:9-10)


As you can see, today we are talking about…


We all want to be servant-leaders, but I can’t find that in the Bible anywhere.  Jesus very clearly said whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant (Mark 10:43). 

Lent is a time of drawing closer to GOD, and is a very personal time of reflection.  But it should not be a time for us to forget the needs of others, and our call to serve them at all times and in all places. 

How are you going to serve someone today?

For some simple ideas, click here or here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 7 : Diligence


“make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”
(2 Peter 1:5-7)

Not words we hear everyday, but rather reminiscent of the Fruit of the Spirit.  Peter exhorts us to have a willingness to work hard; to have a spirit of …


The lesson here seems to be that salvation by faith is only the first step.  Not that we can do anything to earn our salvation, or even to make ourselves worthy of it, but more is required.

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
(2 Peter 1:8-9)

We need to grasp our salvation with both hands.  But then we need to show gratitude for it by working at goodness, kindness, love etc. 

For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10-11)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 6: Commitment

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15)


Familiar words for many of us.    Simple.  Direct.  Straightforward.

A spirit of …



One of my favourite Psalms is Psalm 16.  If we look at the first two verses, it says “Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.  I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing."

Note that David is doing more than just acknowledging that GOD is his Lord, he is making it so by his words. GOD is the Lord, there is no two ways about that one; but here he is placing himself under his Lordship. Saying to him “today, I choose to make you my Lord.  Today, I choose to follow you.”

Today, how are we going to acknowledge GOD’s Lordship of our lives?  How are we going to show Him, and those around us, who we serve?

No matter what may arise.  No matter what temptations we may face.  No matter what others might do.  Will we make a stand, and say “No, I will serve the Lord.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 5 : Simplicity

No, I am not going to say that we need to give away all our possessions today. You need your computer for at least another five weeks to keep reading this blog. :-)

What I am suggesting, is that we need a spirit of…


A life uncluttered, be it by physical treasures, or useless activities.

Albert Schweitzer supposedly said : “If you own something you cannot give away, then you don’t own it, it owns you.” I find that interesting to contemplate, not just in the physical sense.

What can’t I give up? What would be too difficult? What am I letting control me?

Lent is great, because it is a time of self-denial; a time too make my meals, and my life, simpler. But perhaps the fact that I find it so easy is an indication that I am living the rest of my life the wrong way. If my life were truly uncluttered by distractions, then I wouldn’t have anything to give up for lent.

What is distracting me from leading a life of simplicity today? What is too precious to give up?

What “noise” can I tune out today, to help me focus on GOD?

Sunday, February 21, 2010



We will be doing things slightly differently on Sundays. 

The Sundays of Lent are days of celebration, and I think at this moment we need to pause and celebrate the fact that we have made it through five days of lent.

Was it easy for you?  Did you struggle with some areas? 

Remember that this Lenten discipline is for our benefit, not for GOD’s.  He loves us, no matter what we do, and nothing we do could make Him love us more, or less.  It is our way of bringing ourselves closer to him, not a magic spell to make us holier, or more acceptable.


"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)

A heart that desires to follow God is better than a body that tries to deny itself.  Remember that it doesn’t make GOD happy when we deny ourselves, but it does please him when we use our self-denial to seek him.

So take a deep breathe today, and commit to focusing on GOD this week.  He loves you, and knows your weaknesses and frailties. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day Four : Purpose


Let your eyes look straight ahead,  fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
(Proverbs 4:24-26)

Today we pray for a wisdom to set goals, and have a spirit of…


We talk a lot about purpose these days, and have many books and teaching series devoted to finding our purpose.  I am not going to do that today.

What I am thinking is that we need to have a purpose to everything we do.  Saying “I will go where GOD leads me.” is fine, and right.  But it does mean we need to stand up and be lead.  If we lie back and wait for GOD to guide us, perhaps we will die on our backs.

I think we need a closed door policy to God’s will, not an open door policy.  Open our heart and mind to his will, then go and do what we think is right, and let him tell us not to.

Paul listened to the Lord in all things, but he didn’t wait to be told to go somewhere.  He would pray for guidance, then he would stand up and go.  If God wanted him in a different city, he would close the doors of the city to him, and show him a new city.   If we want to help people, and there is a hospital down the road, why don’t we volunteer there, and let God tell us we don’t have to go anymore?  If there is a beggar at your door, don’t ask God if you must feed him, wait until God tells you not to.

Have a purpose, have a goal; but keep it soaked in prayer and grounded on the word, and let God tell us when our purpose does not fall in with his.

So today, let us try to live a life of purpose, not a life waiting for purpose.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day Three : Purity

Blessed are the pure in heart,for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)

So let's just get this one out of the way. Purity is a tough one, but from the verse above we know it is something we need to strive for. So today, we seek a desire to be clean, a spirit of


This entire time of lent is about striving for purity. I think the operative word here is striving. We will fail.

Yes, I said will fail.

Haven't you heard? If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8) and all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

So what hope do we hope. Well, the good news or us is that it is not about reaching the prize. It is about reaching for the prize.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-15)

Paul reminds us to keep looking forward, to 'forget what is behind' (our sinful nature) and strain for what is ahead. We cannot be clean by our own effort, but thankfully we don't have to be.

Haven't you heard? If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9) and all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23-24)

We can never purify ourselves. Or achieve purity in our own strength. Luckily we don't have to, all we have to do is accept his redemption, confess our sins, and strive onwards.

So what is our challenge for today? How do we seek purity

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. (Psalm 119:9-10)

By reading His word, and taking it to heart.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day Two : Reverence

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the
Holy One is insight.
(Proverbs 9:10)

Should we fear the Lord? Yes. Do we need to be afraid? No.

What we need to pray for is a spirit of...


Yesterday we spent the day contemplating Humility; thinking of ourselves less. Humbling ourselves in the sight of the Lord, and hopefully others. How did that work out for you?

Today we look at the closely linked spirit of Reverence; having a right attitude towards GOD.

If we are truly honest with ourselves when we think about Him, and truly honest in our words when we talk to Him, how can we miss the most important thing...

GOD is HUGE!!!

I mean he is scary powerful and capable of mighty deeds. This is the being who spoke the entire universe into creation. Forget trying to get building permits for a new shed, He winked, and stars falmed into being to light our nights.

And he calls us by name, and asks us to walk with HIM.
If we're not thinking about that, even a little bit, I think we are selling him way short.

So, today, let's focus on not taking GOD for granted. On appreciating every little detail he lays before us, and marvelling at just how awesome he is.

Let us seek a spirit of reverence.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
(Psalms 8:3-4)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day One : Humility

Today, let me pray, for a spirit of...


Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:10

One of the ideas of Lent is to use the time to draw closer to God. It is also about noticing and dealing with certain areas of our lives. So each day this season I will be focusing on trying to deal with a different spirit.

Today, we focus on having a spirit of Humility.

Humility is the opposite of pride. An antidote to pride. Humility is not about thinking less of ourselves, it's about thinking of ourselves less. Being self-forgetful.

How do we cultivate this spirit? By thinking about others first.

Jesus was the greatest man who ever lived, yet he too on the nature of a servant and "humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2) He knew who he was, he knew who God was, he knew who we were. Yet he chose to place us first.

So today, let's try to enter every interaction with others, thinking about them. When we talk to someone, listen, rather than speaking. Ask yourself what we can do for them. Don't assume that our rights are more important than theirs, or that we are more important.

And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk
humbly with your God
(Micah 6:8)