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)