Monthly Archives: September 2016

Lamentations 3:19-23

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.” (Lamentations 3:19-20).

As Jeremiah meditates on his afflictions and wanderings he becomes downcast and loses his hope and joy. The devil aims to keep the whole world for ever in this misery of spirit – in guilt, shame and frustration. The sinful nature offers nothing but empty distractions to this turmoil.

Jeremiah continues, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam 3:21-23).

He has to ‘call to mind’ the Lord’s great love and compassion. He has to call them by faith because such glorious blessings cannot come from the human heart. These blessings from God renew us every morning from our downcast state – they go on bringing life and peace.

When your life becomes a hopeless mess, rather than using your fading strength to try to drag yourself out, lift your eyes to the God of grace and mercy. He alone can bring salvation and restoration for the troubled heart. He heals with His forgiveness and acceptance pouring out His Holy Spirit on all who call on His name.

Lamentations 3:19-23

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.” (Lamentations 3:19-20).

As Jeremiah meditates on his afflictions and wanderings he becomes downcast and loses his hope and joy. The devil aims to keep the whole world for ever in this misery of spirit – in guilt, shame and frustration. The sinful nature offers nothing but empty distractions to this turmoil.

Jeremiah continues, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam 3:21-23).

He has to ‘call to mind’ the Lord’s great love and compassion. He has to call them by faith because such glorious blessings cannot come from the human heart. These blessings from God renew us every morning from our downcast state – they go on bringing life and peace.

When your life becomes a hopeless mess, rather than using your fading strength to try to drag yourself out, lift your eyes to the God of grace and mercy. He alone can bring salvation and restoration for the troubled heart. He heals with His forgiveness and acceptance pouring out His Holy Spirit on all who call on His name.

Romans 13:3

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.” (Romans 13:3).

The rulers of the world lead using the fear of punishment. They use fines, jail, school detentions, taxes etc to drive people into line. The fear of punishment working with the human conscience is a powerful way to control us.

In light of this, it’s easy to see God as the ultimate one who rules in the same way. He is seen as one with the harshest punishments, the angriest disposition, and the one who uses fear to always give people what they deserve!

Our Father is not like the rulers of this world. He pursues people with His love, His kindness leads us to repentance, His love constrains us from doing evil, and through Jesus He actually sets our consciences free. We live in the freedom of the knowledge that we are children of God.

When we were our most rebellious and hateful He sent His Son to die for us. He gives us His Spirit to empower us to walk in His ways.

Ultimately, God will judge all humanity but His just judgements have been borne by Jesus for all who will believe in Him.

Romans 13:3

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.” (Romans 13:3).

The rulers of the world lead using the fear of punishment. They use fines, jail, school detentions, taxes etc to drive people into line. The fear of punishment working with the human conscience is a powerful way to control us.

In light of this, it’s easy to see God as the ultimate one who rules in the same way. He is seen as one with the harshest punishments, the angriest disposition, and the one who uses fear to always give people what they deserve!

Our Father is not like the rulers of this world. He pursues people with His love, His kindness leads us to repentance, His love constrains us from doing evil, and through Jesus He actually sets our consciences free. We live in the freedom of the knowledge that we are children of God.

When we were our most rebellious and hateful He sent His Son to die for us. He gives us His Spirit to empower us to walk in His ways.

Ultimately, God will judge all humanity but His just judgements have been borne by Jesus for all who will believe in Him.

Psalm 54:1+4

“Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might…….Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” (Psalm 54:1+4).

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that God is simply our ‘help’ but not the one who gives us everything for life and salvation – at every moment.

We can see Him as one who assists us, gives us power to do what we desire, who gives us that extra bit of strength we need to overcome sin and to fulfill our dreams. In this case God is not the centre of our life, rather, we are! He is there to empower our selfishness and to ‘make a difference’. Living like this will end up treating God as a help for our sinful nature – our flesh.

He is more than simply our advantage, He is our salvation. He doesn’t just give us power to fulfil our dreams, in His salvation He puts our own dreams to death and brings us to the life of His Spirit.

His Spirit helps us by bringing His sanctifying work which puts to death our flesh and brings us to faith. Faith: that blessed place of life where we rely on Him for everything, where we trust Him for every ounce of righteousness and holiness, where we see every good thing we have has come totally from Him. Dead to ourselves, with His help, we truly live!

Psalm 54:1+4

“Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might…….Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” (Psalm 54:1+4).

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that God is simply our ‘help’ but not the one who gives us everything for life and salvation – at every moment.

We can see Him as one who assists us, gives us power to do what we desire, who gives us that extra bit of strength we need to overcome sin and to fulfill our dreams. In this case God is not the centre of our life, rather, we are! He is there to empower our selfishness and to ‘make a difference’. Living like this will end up treating God as a help for our sinful nature – our flesh.

He is more than simply our advantage, He is our salvation. He doesn’t just give us power to fulfil our dreams, in His salvation He puts our own dreams to death and brings us to the life of His Spirit.

His Spirit helps us by bringing His sanctifying work which puts to death our flesh and brings us to faith. Faith: that blessed place of life where we rely on Him for everything, where we trust Him for every ounce of righteousness and holiness, where we see every good thing we have has come totally from Him. Dead to ourselves, with His help, we truly live!