Andrews thoughts for February

28th Feb

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28th February

"But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers said to Him, ' You ought to leave here and go to Judea' ...Jesus told them, ' the right time for me has not yet come ...for me the right time has not yet come'.' 

(John Ch 7 vs 3, 6 and 8).

 

On His road to Jerusalem we have read of the baby Jesus being presented there in the Temple, and also the 12 year old boy Jesus lingering there with the teachers. Today we read of another occasion about a Feast in Jeusalem when Jesus hesitates to go there although He later goes privately.  The timing for the events of Good Friday had not yet arrived,  but we later read of Jesus in prayer just before Good Friday when Jesus prays to His Father, 'Father, the time has come..' God's timing is perfect and the crucifixion of Jesus takes place on the specified day at the exact time of that day. So may we in our lives trust in the God whose timing is spot on and who will never fail us.

'Come, now is the time to worship; come, now is the time to give your heart...come'

 

A prayer:- ' Thank you Lord for this day and thank you that "My times are in Your hands".' 

Amen.

27th February

"Every year His parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When He was 12 years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while His parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem......''''Why were you searching for me?' , He asked, 'Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's House? '."

(Luke Ch 2 vs 41 to 43 and v 49)

It must be any parent's worst nightmare to be visiting a park or shopping centre and to discover a child is missing. Such was the scene that faced Mary and Joseph as they had taken the 12 year old Jesus to the Passover Feast in Jerusalem at the time of His Bar Mitzvah. Jesus had 'wandered off' and when they discover Him 3 days later in the Temple, His defence is to say that He had to be in His Father's House.

The AV version translates this as, "about my Father's business. As we follow Jesus on the way to Jerusalem and to the Cross He is about His Father's business for 'God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him'

(John Ch 3 vs 16 and 17).

"Father, we adore You, lay our lives before You; how we love You".

A prayer; "Father, help us to be about Your business today as we share Your love with those we meet." Amen.

26th February

"There was a prophetess, Anna. ...She never left the Temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the Child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem"

(Luke Ch 2 vs 36 and 38).

Life for Anna had been tough. Widowed after 7 years of marriage and now was 84. Despite her hard life she never lost faith and was rock solid in her commitment to God and her worship of God. That day, when she espied Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus in the Temple she just knew that this was THE One, the promised one in whom there would be redemption. She thanked God for the insight and shared her inner feelings with those around her. In this season we are aware of the One who is approaching Jerusalem and in whom is our redemption.

He is our Redeemer who will pay the price for our freedom from the burden of sin and guilt. 1 Corinthians Ch 6 v 20 tells us, ' you were bought at a price'. That price is the life of Jesus on the Cross. In Him we are redeemed ; in Him we have been set free to new life. May we have the rock solid faith that Anna had and see in Jesus the One who is our Redeemer.

" There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God's own Son, precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One.

Thank you, O my Father, for giving us Your Son, and leaving Your Spirit till the work on earth is done. '

A prayer: ' We praise You, Lord of Heaven and earth for the price paid for our salvation. Forgive us our sins.' Amen.

25th February

"Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God, saying, 'Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to Your people Israel."

(Luke Ch 2 vs 28 to 32).

Jesus was around 33 years old as He walked that road to Jerusalem. He had visited the city on several occasions over the years but the very first time was as a babe in arms, taken to the Temple by Mary and Joseph to comply with the Jewish Law, presenting Him to the Lord. It was on that occasion that they encountered Simeon, a righteous and devout man who amazingly, and surely by the insight of God's Spirit, detected in this baby the fulfillment of God's salvation plan, This revelation to Simeon filled him with a sense of real peace.

As we watch Jesus all those years later making another journey to Jerusalem may our eyes see in Him the response of God's salvation plan for us and may we, like Simeon, be filled with God's peace.

"Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, open the eyes of my heart. I want to see You, I want to see you.

To see You high and lifted up, shining in the light of Your glory. Pour out Your power and love; as we sing, holy, holy, holy'.

A prayer: "Open our eyes Lord that we may behold the One who was willing to tread the way of the Cross for us. Amen

24th February

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring Good News, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'.

(Isaiah Ch 52 v 7).

It wasn't exactly the news the disciples wanted to hear as Jesus, on more than one occasion, informs them that He is going to Jerusalem where He would suffer, be rejected, be killed and on the third day rise again. Jesus resolutely sets His feet to ascend to Jerusalem.

Here is the fulfillment of the announcement to the Shepherds by the angel at Jesus' birth, "I bring you Good News of great joy that will be to all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord!". Good news indeed for us but a painful road for the Lord so that the Good News of God'in His love, and forgiveness would come about for us.

"Our God reigns, our God reigns, our God reigns, OUR GOD REIGNS."

A Prayer: "Thank You Father for the Good News, even though it had to be won for us at such great cost." Amen.

23rd February

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smouldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth justice; He will not falter or be discouraged till He establishes justice on earth. In His Law the islands will put their hope......I the Lord, have called You in righteousness, I will take hold of Your hand."

(Isaiah Ch 42 vs 1 to 4 and v 6)

He is Immanuel, God with us, yet on the way to Jerusalem He assumes the role of the Servant, called of the Father and obedient and submissive to the Father's will. Jesus goes forward with grace and with compassion to heal the broken reed and to restore the smouldering wick.

In His own words He says, 'For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.' On His way to the Cross He is in His Father's hands just as we are in His hands as we take up our Cross and follow Him.

"This is our God the servant King, He calls us now to follow Him, to bring our lives as a daily offering - of worship to the Servant King".

A prayer: ' Lord, come to us today in our brokenness and bring healing ; come to us today in our despair and bring hope'.

22nd February

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens."

(Psalm 8 v1).

 

In a week when we have seen some spectacular views from Mars may we be aware of the God who has set His glory above the heavens, and come to bow down in worship before Him. "Majesty, worship His Majesty..... ".

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21st February

"A voice of one calling ; 'In the desert prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken'."

(Isaiah Ch 40 vs 3 to 5)

It was a road of highs and lows. It was a road prepared for Him. It was a road He had to walk as Jesus heads for Jerusalem. It was a road He walked for us in the wilderness of our human life. There was a price He had to pay - the price for our salvation. The end result would be in the glory of the Lord being revealed as He would open up for us a new and living way. An end result, but a new beginning in the new life through faith and trust in Him.

"When the road is rough and steep, fix your eyes upon Jesus. He alone has power to keep, so, fix your eyes upon Him. Jesus is a gracious Friend, One on whom you can depend. He is faithful to the end, so, fix your eyes upon Him!"

A prayer: "Lord you have walked this road before us and You are walking with us whatever road we are walking today". Amen

20th February

"And God said, 'This is the sign of the Covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the Covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My Covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind'."

(Genesis Ch 9 vs 12 to 15).

"On my honour I promise to do my best, to do my duty to God and the Queen...." ; so begins the Scout promise as I recall it from boyhood. Our verses today emphasis a Covenant between God and His Creation as given to Noah after the flood. The sign of that Covenant is the spectacular and colourful rainbow. God's servant Joshua, towards the end of his life, can testify that of all the Lord's good promises, not one had failed.

In this season as we head towards Jerusalem we will reach the Upper Room where Jesus introduces a New Covenant, when in the midst of His disciples He breaks bread and lifts the cup saying, 'This cup is the new Covenant in my blood, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.' God keeps that Covenant in Jesus and the sign of the new Covenant we see in the Cross. He makes that Covenant with us and for us. "When I survey the wondrous Cross, on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and poor contempt on all my pride."

A prayer, "Lord as You make Your Covenant with us, so I make my Covenant with You, to love and serve you." Amen.

18th February

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."

(Ecclesiastes Ch 3 v 1). 

The seasons are slowly and gradually changing as we see little signs of springtime but the verse in Ecclesiastes speaks of a different season and it gives rise to the song, 'To everything, turn, turn, turn; There is a season, turn, turn, turn; And a time for every purpose under heaven. '

This week we turn, turn, turn in our Christian calendar to the season of Lent where we come face to face with God's purpose under Heaven for our salvation. We turn towards Jerusalem and and ultimately we will come to Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Good Friday and to the Easter Day.

"Oh, the love that drew salvation's plan! Oh, the grace that brought it down to man! Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary! Mercy there was great, and grace was free; pardon there was multiplied to me; There my burdened soul found liberty- at Calvary."

A prayer, 'Lord lead me on this journey in this season, that I will be aware of the breadth, the length, the height and depth of Your love for me'.Amen

16th February

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light! On those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned!....For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government shall be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His Government and peace there will be no end."

(Isaiah Ch 9 vs 2, 6 and 7)

The hours of daylight are slowly increasing, day by day. The last time we probably heard the verses above was in the darkness of midwinter. The light is beginning to dawn and the road to Jerusalem is becoming more clear. May there be an awakening in our hearts and a greater awareness within us of the identity of the One who is walking that painful road for us living in the land of the shadow of death.

He is THE Wonderful Counsellor, THE Mighty God, THE Everlasting Father, THE Prince of Peace, and He is THE light of the world. Following Him on that road, as He promises, we will never walk in darkness but have the Light of Life.

'Light of the world you stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes, let me see beauty that made this heart adore You, hope of a life spent with You.

So here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, here I an to say that You're my God....!".

A prayer, "Lord, lead me closer to the light of Your love that I might see the road You were willing to travel for me." Amen.

19th February

"The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers, you must listen to Him. "(Deuteronomy Ch 18 v 15).


He was born in Egypt and concealed in the bull rushes. In adulthood, minding the sheep of his father-in-law, Jethro on a hillside at Horeb, God appeared to him by a bush that was on fire but was not consumed. By that bush, God called Moses to go to Egypt to seek the release of the Lord's people from slavery. Eventually and with great reluctance Pharaoh relented and the Exodus took place. 

Moses had been instrumental in this rescue mission being seen as the Deliverer of the Lord's people. Moses is regarded as one whom the Lord knew face to face, but in our verse today there is the promise, and an insight, to another prophet from amongst the Lord's people. This promise is seen as being fulfilled in Jesus who comes on a rescue mission to be our deliverer and Saviour to release us from the bonds of sin and death. 

This rescue mission doesn't take place in Egypt but in Jerusalem and in this season we continue on that road which leads to Calvary and to the new life through our faith and trust in Jesus.

"Jesus, Name above all names, beautiful Saviour, glorious Lord. Emmanuel, God is with us, blessed Redeemer, Living Word.'

A prayer, "Our Lord and our God, Thank you for Jesus. Help us to see in Him today the one who is our Saviour and our Deliverer and the One in whom we are set free. Amen."

17th February

"And God said, 'This is the sign of the Covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the Covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My Covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind'."

(Genesis Ch 9 vs 12 to 15).

"On my honour I promise to do my best, to do my duty to God and the Queen...." ; so begins the Scout promise as I recall it from boyhood. Our verses today emphasis a Covenant between God and His Creation as given to Noah after the flood. The sign of that Covenant is the spectacular and colourful rainbow. God's servant Joshua, towards the end of his life, can testify that of all the Lord's good promises, not one had failed.

In this season as we head towards Jerusalem we will reach the Upper Room where Jesus introduces a New Covenant, when in the midst of His disciples He breaks bread and lifts the cup saying, 'This cup is the new Covenant in my blood, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.' God keeps that Covenant in Jesus and the sign of the new Covenant we see in the Cross. He makes that Covenant with us and for us. "When I survey the wondrous Cross, on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and poor contempt on all my pride."

A prayer, "Lord as You make Your Covenant with us, so I make my Covenant with You, to love and serve you." Amen.

15th February

"He sends His command to the earth; His Word runs swiftly. He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes." (Psalm 147 v15)

May God's Word cover us as the snow in Troon,  as we worship Him today and melt our hearts with His love!

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14th February

"How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. "

(Psalm 119 vs 103 and 104).

Going walkabout we are beginning to see buds appearing as they battle against the cold weather. Before too long the spring bulbs will also be visible and blossom on the trees; the bees will awaken from their hibernation rising to their work of pollination and so providing us with delicious golden honey to be enjoyed by those with a sweet tooth.

It seems that the writer of the Psalm has a sweet tooth but he has discovered something even sweeter to his taste in the Words of God. This is reflected also in Psalm 19 v 10, where the promises of God are described as, "sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb." Yet another Psalm says , ' Taste and see that the Lotd is good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him' , (34 v 8).

Sadly one of the symptoms of the virus is a loss of taste and smell, but may we never lose the "taste" of God"s love and grace towards us whatever we may be coming through. "How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds, in a believer's ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds and drives away his fears."

12th February

"You are my portion, O Lord; I have promised to obey Your words. I have sought Your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to Your statues."

Psalm 119 vs 57 to 59

Imagine that your walk takes you to a vast country estate with a stately manor house, and walking around you can survey the beauty and majesty of the surroundings.

In our virtual and spiritual verses today the writer is realising the "Lord of the Manor" is the God who is his portion and wishes to share that portion with him in love and in grace. In gratitude he seeks out the God who so loves him and he promises to turn his steps to Him. In Jeremiah Ch 29 v 13, God says, "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord."

Jesus is the One in whom we meet the Father face to face and He is the One who is our more than adequate portion day by day and into all eternity. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you, Hallelujah!" Yes! He is our portion, and what a portion he has allotted us.

Thanks as always to our friends of St Meddans who provide our daily photos.

10th February

"I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on Your laws, I hold fast to Your statutes, O Lord ; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free." 

Psalm 119 vs 30 to 32

Our spiritual and virtual walkabout in the Psalms began 4 weeks ago and our verses today come from Psalm 119 which is the longest Psalm in the Bible with 176 verses! A long walk, and one which reminds me of the title of the book by Nelson Mandela, ' Long walk to freedom". Psalm 119 may be a long walk but it has some amazing viewpoints at which we might pause to marvel at God' s Word.

Today the writer can tell us of His choice to follow the way of truth, holding fast to God's counsel, thus He can RUN on the path of God's commands for God has set His heart FREE. In Hebrews Ch 12 v 1 we read, '....let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus....."

' I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back! No turning back! '.

8th February

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it".(Psalm 118 v 24).

"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the Name of the Lord is to be praised." (Psalm 113 v 3).

We all have our daily routines in one way or another and those routines may include a walkabout to a greater or lesser extent. The writer of the Psalms in his spiritual walkabout recognises daily that each day is a gift from God and he never ceases to thank God for it and to rejoice and be glad for that gift. In addition he never loses sight of the 'Big Picture' of the eternal God as he marvels at the sunrise and the sunset, and rests in His everlasting arms. He is from everlasting to everlasting, is unchanging and unchangeable. In our ever changing and mutating pandemic world let us not lose sight of the eternal dimension and trust daily in our God, giving thanks for each new day.

"Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same; all may change but Jesus never, glory to His Name. Glory to His Name, glory to His Name, all may change but Jesus never, glory to His Name."

6th February

"How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the Name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people."

Psalm 116 vs 12 to 14

Trying to find the right gift for the right person can present us with difficulties and that especially so in our walk through lockdown with so many shops closed. We may be looking for a birthday or anniversary gift or a gift to show appreciation for acts of kindness during the pandemic.

In our verses today in our virtual and spiritual walk through the Psalms, the writer is looking for an appropriate gift, but it is a gift for God! He wants to show his appreciation to the Lord to repay Him for all His love, kindness and goodness. Repay the Lord?? Where do we begin with that one? He finds the right gift as he chooses to lift up the cup of salvation and call on the Name of the Lord.

This speaks to us of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane praying, "..if it be possible let this cup pass from Me, but not my will but Yours be done". Jesus did lift up that cup for us through His death on the Cross. So how can we repay the Lord for His grace, His goodness and His love? We can but lift up that cup of salvation and accept it from the hand of the Lord, recognising that it was for us He hung and suffered there.

The greatest gift we can give to the Lord is the gift of our lives. "Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee; take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise"

4th February

"Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your Name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness."

Psalm 115 v 1

On our walkabout and in our walk through life it can be to our benefit to press the 'pause' button and to take stock. James, our Lord's brother, in his Letter, Ch 4 v 14, poses the question, ' What is your life?'. Our friend, the Psamist, in His walkabout and in our verse today asks that kind of question coming to the conclusion that in his life he seeks to give the glory only to God. As he stops and takes stock so he gives glory to God for the gift of life, for blessings received and gives glory to God for all he has achieved in his life.

He praises God for His total love and faithfulness. May this be our aim in life as we give praise and glory to God for all He does in us and through us, using us in His Church and in His Kingdom. On His way to His death on the Cross, Jesus prays to His Father, "Father, the time has come. Glorify Your Son that Your Son may glorify You." (John Ch 17 v 1).

‘To God be the glory, great things He has done'.

2nd February

"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.".

(Psalm 119 v 105).

You may recall a game from childhood where one member of the group is blindfolded and turned around a few times. Amidst the calls of the others in the group the blindfolded one has to find their way in what they think is the right direction. This has been the experience in Psalm 119 as the writer attempts to chart their way in life. In our verse today he comes to the the conclusion that there is only one way for him in life as he seeks the way ahead and that is where the direction of his feet coincides with the light of God's path.

This is also the conclusion of the Prophet Isaiah who writes at Ch 30 v 21, '..this is the way, walk in it". As we look forward to post virus days may we know God's guidance and His direction for our lives as His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths. He is the One, as Peter tells us, who has called us out of darkness and into His marvellous light. Jesus is the true Light of the world. The Light shines in the darkness but the darkness will never overcome it.

“I do not know what lies ahead, the way I cannot see, but One stands near to be my Guide, He'll show The Way to me." Jesus, says, 'Follow Me' , and so we put our hand in the hand of the Man of Galilee!

13th February

"Your Word, O Lord is eternal. It stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; You established the earth and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve You."

Psalm 119 vs 89 to 91

Winter walks are currently being enjoyed . Crisp winter days in Troon, and the snow in many parts producing a playground for children and others, but giving difficulties for many. The snow will not last. When it melts many will be disappointed but others will be glad.

Our Psalmist friend in his spiritual and virtual walkabout reminds us of that which will last in the eternal Word of God which stands firm in the heavens and will last forever. God's faithfulness in His Word will stand for all generations and will endure forever.

The prophet Isaiah writes in Ch 55 and at v 10, ' As the rain and the snow come down from heaven.... so is my Word which goes out from My mouth which will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it '. The proof of this is in the Word become flesh in Jesus. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. "

(John Ch 1 vs 1 and 2). May you listen out for God's eternal Word today.

11th February

"Teach me, O Lord, to follow Your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will keep Your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of Your commands for there I find delight".

Psalm 119 v33-35

The rule is still for essential journeys only but in better days the serious walker or climber would have a map and a compass at the ready in their rucksack. In these high tech days some might even have a GPS app on their mobile phones, to be used when dark and foreboding clouds come on and the light fades and the way ahead seems unclear. This is where we find the writer of our verses today. The way ahead in the journey of life is uncertain as it can be for us.

He has no map , compass or GPS available but he appeals to the oldest navigation system in the world as He cries out to God to teach him to follow His decrees and to give him understanding, as he looks for the Lord's path which will be a delight to him as he follows it. May God by His Spirit and through His Word so lead us on the way of His choosing for us especially when times may be hard for us.

“Teach me Thy way, O Lord, teach me Thy way....help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight; Lead me with heavenly Light; teach me Thy way.".

9th February

"My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord among the nations; I will sing of You among the peoples. For great is Your love, higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let Your glory be over all the earth. "

Psalm 108 v1-5

7th February

"Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for You answered me; You have become my salvation".

Psalm 118 v 19 to 21

It can be disconcerting on a country walk to encounter a seemingly insurmountable barrier. This may be in the form of a wall, a high fence, a gate, a stile, or some other obstacle. In our virtual and spiritual walk through the Psalms we find the writer today calling out to God to open up the way to Life which he is attempting to enter so that he may give thanks to God. God hears that cry and it is supremely answered in Jesus our Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Our righteousness is in Him and in Him alone. He is our righteousness and our salvation is in Him.

Jesus says, "I tell you the truth; I am the gate for the sheep...I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. (John Ch 10).

"I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with praise; I will say this is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice for He has made me glad....".

"Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for You answered me; You have become my salvation".

(Psalm 118 v 19 to 21).

5th February

"I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me I will call on Him as long as I live......Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you."

Psalm 116 vs 1, 2 and 7

It can be quite easy when out walking to take a wrong turning when the way is unclear and we can't see the wood for the trees. It may be necessary to back track or to ask for directions. In our verses today it looks as if, in his spiritual walk of life, the writer has taken a wrong turning and lost his way.

He asks directions from the Lord his God, appealing to His mercy for going astray. How relieved he is to realise the Lord has heard His voice and has responded. The Psalmist reaffirms his love for the Lord promising to call on Him as long as He lives. He is then at peace and at rest within his soul, for the Lord has been good to him. Our God is gracious forgiving and full of compassion.

He reveals His forgiveness to us in Jesus and in the price paid on the Cross. "Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land; I am weak but Thou art mighty; hold me with Thy powerful hand."

3rd February

"My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord among the nations; I will sing of You among the peoples. For great is Your love, higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let Your glory be over all the earth. "

Psalm 108 v1-5

In our walkabout today we turn a corner. It's a corner into a new month. It's the month of February with new vistas before us. The days are lengthening with a little more light in the mornings and the evenings. The snowdrops and early crocuses have appeared and the signs of nature awakening are before us. In our virtual and spiritual walkabout in our next Psalm the writer refers to the awakening of the dawn and of the new life within his heart through God's love and faithfulness, and so the Name of the Lord is to be praised.

We see the glory of the Lord in the awakening of spring and in the new life we have in Jesus and look forward in hope to better days ahead. Many will soon be receiving their vaccination, if not already. So all in all manifold reasons to give praise and thanks to God and hopefully before too long we also will be able to sing His praises in His house with His people.

 

“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

(Romans Ch 8 v 25).

1st February