Wednesday 11 May 2022

Psalm 75 (NIV)

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” A psalm of Asaph. A song. 1 We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds. 2 You say, “I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge with equity. 3 When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm. 4 To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns. 5 Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak so defiantly.’ ” 6 No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. 7 It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. 8 In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs. 9 As for me, I will declare this forever; I will sing praise to the God of Jacob, 10 who says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”

I love how this Psalm testifies to God’s activity in His people’s lives and His protection of them in the past.  God intervenes in our lives, at crucial moments, directly and through people and events.  The psalm reminds us that He intervenes on behalf of the upright.  Then the psalm gives some frightening detail on what things look like when God acts against those who are boastful.  In life we come across people who are overconfident and faithless who threaten God’s people.  God makes it plain He will deliver his people.

We do well to remember that while God is love, He is also the Judge.  We dare not act boastfully, as if we are the masters of our own destiny – we are called as sons and daughters, and servants of the King of kings.  May we remain upright in living to bring glory and honour to God.

Father – help me to being praise to You for all You do and have done.  May I also not be boastful that I would truly rely on You.

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

2 replies
    • Florence Farjandi says:

      Sorry. I love psalms.
      So much encouragement. So love. So teaching how we obey our Lord.
      God bless you

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Tuesday 10 May 2022

Psalm 74 (NIV)

A maskil of Asaph. 1 O God, why have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture? 2 Remember the nation you purchased long ago, the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed— Mount Zion, where you dwelt. 3 Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins, all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary. 4 Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs. 5 They behaved like men wielding axes to cut through a thicket of trees. 6 They smashed all the carved paneling with their axes and hatchets. 7 They burned your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of your Name. 8 They said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!” They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land. 9 We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be. 10 How long will the enemy mock you, God? Will the foe revile your name forever? 11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them! 12 But God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth. 13 It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters. 14 It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert. 15 It was you who opened up springs and streams; you dried up the ever-flowing rivers. 16 The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon. 17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. 18 Remember how the enemy has mocked you, LORD, how foolish people have reviled your name. 19 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever. 20 Have regard for your covenant, because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land. 21 Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name. 22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools mock you all day long. 23 Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries, the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.

This psalm reminds me to continue turning to God regardless of my circumstances. It starts as one of those ‘rainy day’ moods that turns into an uplifting praise of God! Even when our situation seems dire and hopeless, we can call on the Lord to sustain and strengthen us. It reminds us to turn to him and remember the love and good that God shows his children.

The situation the psalmists find themselves in is far worse than anything I have experienced. Yet they cry out to God and acknowledge his power, wisdom and love. I do well to follow their example.

Lord, you are the king and saviour of all. Help remind us to look to you when things seem bleak, may we hold on to you when our faith dips, and remember your everlasting love.
Amen

Written by Sven Bessesen

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Monday 9 May 2022

Psalm 73 (NIV)

A psalm of Asaph. 1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. 7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. 10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. 11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” 12 This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. 15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children. 16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. 21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

Living for God isn’t easy. First you have to get everything right all the time. Then you have to figure out how to love your neighbour. Then love your enemies (even the ones who don’t live next door).

Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal. Then make sure you don’t get caught being envious of the people who are doing well in life in spite of their cheating and lying and stealing and everything else they seem to enjoy (and get away with).

Today’s passage is brutally honest in its presentation of the challenges of living a Godly life, but the beauty of the passage is in its contrast:

When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. (v16-17)

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. (v23-25)

For the psalmist, the eternal perspective, and the presence of God are the joys that balance out the apparent injustice of life.

But as for me, it is good to be near God.

The psalmist has discovered that a good, full life is not about morality and earthly pleasure, but about what God gives and what he has done!

Lord, may I always desire your presence and may I always experience your love, mercy and forgiveness.

Written by Ps Justin Ware

3 replies
  1. Kim Fleming says:

    I love the rawness of this psalm. I can relate to his anguish & seemingly envy of those that seem to get away with injustice, but what a beautiful perspective of the nature of God & His presence, being drawn back to remember the eternal perspective.

  2. Kim Fleming says:

    I love the rawness of this psalm. I can relate to his anguish & seemingly envy of those that seem to get away with injustice, but what a beautiful perspective of the nature of God & His presence, being drawn back to remember the eternal perspective.

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Sunday 8 May 2022

Psalm 34 (NIV)

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left. 1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2 I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. 21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 22 The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Verse 8 says

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
   blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

We’ve all heard the expression, “try before you buy.” Sometimes it could be a good thing – like buying car. Sometimes it can be a very damaging thing. I’ve heard this expression used to justify the sin of sex before and outside the covenant of marriage – like the oneness and unity and sacredness of sex that only works to the highest potential in the safety of the ‘for life’ commitment of marriage, could be treated like buying a TV; where precious people treated like expendable commodities. 

Yet God issues an invitation here that seems too good to be true. Come, taste and see! Come and experience His goodness. Jesus echoes this generous call when He said, “come to me all you who are weary – I’ll give you rest” (see Matthew 11:28). 

How do we taste and see? First, start with repentance- which means turning your life toward God. Change your “no” to God into a “yes.” Next, just talk to Him. He is listening (see verse 4). Lastly, open your eyes to His goodness. He will come through for you. He will hear you and answer – again and again and again – as often as you come. Taste and see – He is so good!

God, I’m changing my No into a Yes today. Thanks for the invitation to taste and see – I accept. 

Amen

Written by Boudy Van Noppen

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Saturday 7 May 2022 – Transformed week 1

Romans 8:35, 37-39 (NIV)

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What stood out to me in this scripture was:   the wordWHO, the statementWE are more than conquerors, and my positionfor I AM convinced.

My question – WHO?  –  Yet the scripture goes onto to ask about situations that we may find ourselves in, not a person. 

My Answer = No one – Nothing can separate you or I from the love of Jesus Christ.

The statement – “We are more than conquerors” – reveals my position because of Jesus Christ, His death and His resurrection. 

The Holy Spirit that lives in Him now LIVES IN ME.  That amazes me.  I am a conqueror.  I can conquer all situations here on earth and I have already conquered death – nothing is impossible – I have nothing to fear.

My position – “For I am convinced” – I am convinced in My heart and My mind.  When we truly know we are forgiven and when we are filled with the Holy Spirit – we KNOW and are FULLY CONVINCED that God will never let go of You or me.

My position in my heart, my mind, and my actions must be that I continue to devote myself to Him, His word, His people (The Church).  I know that I could let go of Him, but He will never let go of me.

Lord Jesus, may we become even more convinced of your love, grace, mercy and power for each of us.  Fill us afresh with your Holy Spirit and do a work on us we pray.  Lord, open our eyes so we can see clearer all you have for us and all we have to do for your Kingdom. We thank you that you promise to never leave us or forsake us.  Thank you, Jesus.  In Your Name we pray.  Amen

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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Friday 6 May 2022 – Transformed week 1

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Confession time: In the past, I’ve struggled with confession. 

I was that type of kid who hated getting in trouble at school or at home, so I tried very hard to be a ‘good girl’ and never do the wrong thing. Therefore, admitting that I have messed up has never been easy for me. In addition, I grew up in a Pentecostal church where confession was not really a focus of the teaching, unlike in some other Christian traditional churches where there is a strong emphasis on confession of sin.

As I’ve grown older, I am learning to embrace the power of confession. It’s not always easy to do, but I have seen that it’s a more wholehearted, truthful way to live, and I am reaping its benefits.

The previous verse to the one we are looking at today says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Yes, I have experienced this to be the case, both in my own life and in my observation of others. Covering up sin brings deception in a multitude of ways.

But how freeing is our verse today: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

God doesn’t want our pretence of perfection. There is no need (or benefit) to try and hide my flaws and failures from our loving Father God. Confession brings His forgiveness and purification – how simple and wonderful (though at times, still not easy to do)!

Shame wants to keep us hiding, but truth and confession brings freedom.

Lord, help me to choose the path of confession!

Written by Shelley Witt

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Thursday 5 May 2022 – Transformed week 1

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Our salvation does not bring us immunity in this world. We do not suddenly become impervious to disease, harm, or painful situations. All these things still happen to believers, and temptations are no different. Some even believe that spiritual temptations are more heightened and frequent against believers.

Knowing this, we can take comfort that our Heavenly Father, in His infinite wisdom, provides a way out so that we can continue to run the good race. No matter how powerful or influential temptations can be, we can escape them. Whether talking to a friend to keep us accountable, reading scripture, or simply running from a tempting situation, God always provides an escape route. Our God provides!

Lord, we thank you for the plans you have over us. Thank you for giving us hope and a future. Thank you for your wisdom that helps us overcome the temptations in our lives. May we rest in your peace, Lord, knowing your unfathomable love overflows for us. In your precious name, Jesus.
Amen

Written by Sven Bessesen

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Wednesday 4 May 2022 – Transformed week 1

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

As I read this short passage, I am led to cast my memory back and thing about myself as a young teenager, before I committed my life to Christ.

How similar or different am I to that person that I once was?

I certainly still identify with that person. I have the same name, same biological family of origin, same memories. My body has changed a bit though the process of growth and ageing, but there is continuity there.

Some of my behavioural traits are similar too. I’ve improved in many areas, but there are probably a few areas where I could have made more change!

Perhaps I am being too hard on myself. But the point I’m trying to make is that I’m not completely changed as a person. What has changed completely though is my spiritual identity. I no longer identify with belonging to the spiritually dead things that this world offers, but my identity is with Christ and heaven.

Also, what has been made new is my spiritual record.

I once got pulled over for speeding. It was more than 4 years ago, so that mistake doesn’t impact my licence, or insurance or anything now, but the reality is, the instance of that speeding fine will always be there on my driving record. If I ever wanted a job that required a perfect driving record, I would be unable to apply. It’s like this with my spiritual record. Even if I were able to live my life from this point forward and never sin again, those sins from my past are still there. They can’t be fixed by my own effort. BUT because I belong to Christ, when the heavenly motor registry looks up my spiritual record, Jesus’s record shows up in place of mine!

Lord thank You that I am both made new and being made new. Please help me to grasp more fully the beauty of the transformation you have made in me, and also accelerate the process of making me into Christ’s image.

Written by Ps. Justin Ware

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Tuesday 3 May 2022 – Transformed week 1

1 John 4:4 (NIV)

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Sometimes “…the one who is in the world” seems pretty strong. You only have to watch the news to catch even a glimpse of the unspeakable evil that happens daily in our world. Yet, I think that’s the point – the power of evil should make me marvel at the even greater power of goodness, mercy, and sacrificial love that is our God. And even better still, that power lives in me!

The Passion Translation of this verse uses words like “certain”, “conquered” (as in past-tense), and “… far greater”.  How is this power available to us? Through the Holy Spirit – promised to every disciple of Jesus. But … ”how does this work?” I feel myself asking. How do I live day to day in the reality that God is greater, stronger, has won the war over evil, sin, the devil, and death? Faith.

It’s a bit like my car…there’s fuel in the tank and charge in the battery. It has 4 wheels and I have the key. It’s all done and ready to go. All that’s left is for me to turn the key. This victory, won by Jesus, is ready to go. It’s time I changed my thinking from fear to faith. Time to turn on the key of my faith, believe that Jesus is greater, and walk in the victory He has already won. 

Lord, your Word says I am to live by faith, not by sight (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). Help me own this truth, in a big way today, that You are far greater than anything the world or the devil will throw at me. And because this power lives in me, I will not be afraid. Amen

Written by Boudy Van Noppen

3 replies
  1. Kim Fleming says:

    Love that encouragement: go out & live a life that is a reflection of He who has conquered & now lives in us.

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Monday 2 May 2022 – Transformed Week 1

John 1:12-13 (NIV)

12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

I love how the TPT version says this: “But those who embraced Him and took hold of His name were given authority to become the children of God!”

What continues to blow me away is that the same Holy Spirit that lives inside of Jesus, lives in me – and you.  Inside every Christian.  When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and are baptised in the Holy Spirit, we are vessels of His power and His authority on the earth.  We can pray and speak and things happen.  Supernatural things and physical things.

However so often I doubt myself.  I get in the way.  I pray for things, but do I believe that He will answer my prayers?  Do I truly believe that I have His authority on earth?  That I can speak as He speaks – calm the seas, stop the storms, speak healing, pray for breakthrough.   I remember many years ago I was holding a huge event for about 800 people at Fox Studios.  I had put together the event, the design, the food, the music, the drinks, etc…  However, I could see this enormous storm coming and so clearly remember being on the Harbour Bridge as I drove in to the event and seeing the storm and commanding it to go around my event – no rain, no electrical storm.  It didn’t rain on that event that night.  God answered my prayer.  I often remind myself of that night to remember what God can do, when I pray.

What do you need to see breakthrough in?

See what you want to change and let’s pray….

Lord Jesus, we come before you believing that we are made in your image and that your Spirit lives inside me.  Lord Jesus, I ask you to change/heal/transform this situation ……………………………………. (speak out the change you want to happen).  Lord, we command in your mighty name to bring about a change.  Thank you, Jesus, that I believe in You, I believe in your power to change these situations.  Thank you that you are alive and active today.  Answer my prayer in the mighty name of Jesus.  Thank you for hearing me today.  Amen.

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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