Charles’s quotes


"It is surely ours to combine these elements of mourning for sin and joy in our salvation in one complex and composite experience which keeps us perpetually humble and yet perpetually joyful too."— Rev William Still

Showing posts with label Numbers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Numbers. Show all posts

Sunday, 11 November 2018

We look back, Lord, to what You have done for us.

Numbers 9:1-23
We look back, Lord, to what You have done for us. We look forward to all that You will do for us. We remember our Saviour, crucified for us. We await our Saviour, coming for us. Fill our hearts, Lord, with thanksgiving for all that You have done for us. In Your great love for us, You have given to us Your great salvation. Fill our hearts with the faith that faces the future with the confidence that Your love will never fail us - You will lead us safely on to Your heavenly and eternal glory.

Lord, You gave Your Son, Jesus - to be our Saviour.

Numbers 7:1-47
Lord, You gave Your Son, Jesus - to be our Saviour. Help us to give ourselves to You - to be Your servants. Jesus died for us. Help us to live for Him. Help us never to forget His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine." May we be challenged by His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all." Help us to respond to His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine, shall have my soul, my life, my all."

Friday, 9 November 2018

The Lord Speaks. We Do What He Says.

“All that the Lord speaks, I must do” (Numbers 23:26).
There needs to be obedience to God’s Word. This is not only speaking God’s Word. It’s doing what God’s Word says.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Victory in the wilderness

The book of Numbers tells us the story of Israel's journey through the wilderness. What can we learn from their journey? 
The people of Israel had been delivered from their bondage in Egypt. They were going to be brought to the Promised Land. For a long while, they were in the wilderness. For forty years, the wilderness was their “now moment”. We look back. We remember what the Lord has done for us. He died on the Cross for us. We look forward to His Return. What a great day that will be! In our many “now moments”, we are in the wilderness. It’s a place of danger. It’s a place of promise. We are involved in a constant battle for faith and obedience – “The sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want” (Galatians 5:17). Often, we fail our Lord. We need to hear the challenging words of Paul: “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (Galatians 3:3). Thank God, we also hear Paul’s triumphant words: “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). Even in the wilderness, we catch a glimpse of the glory of the promised land!

Saturday, 27 October 2018

The Lord Bless You And Keep You ...

Numbers 6:22-27

There’s nothing better than God’s blessing. It’s nice to have friends. People like you. It feels good. God’s blessing – That’s so much better. Friends come and go. God’s blessing remains. You can be surrounded by friends – and still feel very lonely. Sometimes, they’re great friends. Sometimes, they disappoint us. When you’re surrounded by God’s blessing, everything’s very different. God will never disappoint us. He’s our “always and forever” Friend. His blessing is an “every day” blessing. It’s not just a “now and again” thing. It’s an “all the days of our life” thing. Everywhere we look, we see God. We look to the hills. We see our Creator. We look to the cross. We see our Saviour. We are blessed by our Creator. We are blessed by our Saviour.

How do we enjoy God’s blessing?
Trust Him. Walk in His way. Wherever life’s journey takes us, He’s there. He’s our faithful Friend. He’s the Friend who’ll never let us down. In our happy times, He gives us His joy. In our hard times, He gives us His peace. Is there anything better than this? No! There isn’t. This is not about good things happening to us. It’s about the good God being with us, even when bad things are happening to us. Being blessed by the Lord doesn’t mean that we’ll never have hard times. What it does mean is this – God loves us in the hard times as well as the happy times. Put your trust in the Lord. Trust in His love. Walk in His way. Be changed by His love.

How are we to walk in the Lord’s way?
We must never imagine that walking with the Lord will be easy. It wasn’t easy for Jesus. It won’t be easy for us. Sin is always near. The devil sets many traps for us. He’s always trying to draw us away from Jesus. Sin may be very near – but the Lord comes even closer to us. Jesus is “God with us.” The devil is a powerful enemy. He’s also a defeated enemy. Christ has won the victory over Him. Christ has won the victory for us. He gives His victory to us. Why don’t we enjoy constant victory over sin? – We take our eyes off Jesus. We forget that He’s living in us. We forget that it’s from Him that we receive His peace and His joy. His peace is great. It passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). His joy is great. It’s “a great and glorious joy which words cannot express” (1 Peter 1:8). His peace and His joy give us strength for walking in His way.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Read The Old Testament - And Look On, From There, To Jesus.

Numbers 19:1-22
When we read about being made clean, we must look beyond what we read in the Old Testament. From the sprinkling of the blood of “a red cow that is perfect, with no defects”, we must look on to the New Testament, where we read of “the blood of Jesus Christ which cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Jesus Christ is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Blessed In The Past - What About The Future?

Numbers 20:1-29 
Neither Moses nor Aaron were to enter the land, promised by God to His people (Numbers 20:12,24). This is a reminder to us that we dare not presume on God’s continued blessing. The fact that He has blessed us in the past does not mean that He will always bless us. We can lose out on His blessing. The blessing of God is to be treasured. It is not be taken lightly. It must never be taken for granted.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

A Welcome And A Challenge

Numbers 16:1-50
In this chapter, we read about the judgment of God upon those who sinned against Him. God is perfectly holy. He calls us to be holy. This is not to be a pretence. It is to be real. Those who came under God’s judgment claimed to be holy (Numbers 16:3). God saw what they were really like. This very challenging. It’s a reminder that we must not take God lightly: “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Alongside this, we should also remember that Christ’s hands were pierced for us. He waits to welcome all who return to Him, fleeing from “the wrath to come.”

Exactly What The Lord Commanded

Numbers 17:1-18:30
Moses, the priests, the people – All of them were to honour the Lord in everything. (i) “Moses did exactly what the Lord commanded him to do” (Numbers 17:11). (ii) The priests were “a gift, given by the Lord, to do whatever work is necessary at the tent of meeting” (Numbers 18:6). (iii) The people were to “contribute the best and holiest parts to the Lord” (“out of all the gifts they had received” (Numbers 18:29). Whoever we are, whatever our place in God’s work, we are to be dedicated to the Lord, committed to doing His will and being faithful in the work He has given to us to do for Him.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

In The Wilderness ...

"In the wilderness (or the wild country)" (Numbers 1:1).
"Stage by stage" (Numbers 33:2) - Moses kept a record of Israel's journey.
"In the wilderness", "stage by stage" - When we read these two phrases, and think about our own journey through life, we are invited to think about where we've been, where we are, and where we're going.   
Have we been in the wild country for far too long? Will we leave the wild country in the past?
There's more to life than being in the wild county. This is the message of Numbers for us today.
When we're in the wilderness, what we must remember is this - There's a way out of the wilderness.
Where will we find the way out of the wilderness? The book of Numbers gives us God's answer.
When we read about life "in the wilderness", we must remember this - We are not alone in the wilderness.
God is there with us. He's with us all of the time - not just some of the time.
This is what we need to hear and know, when we feel like God's gone away and left us.
Numbers isn't just about wilderness wanderings. It's about the guiding, delivering, sustaining and protecting hand of God.
God brought His people out of Egypt, and He was leading them to the Promised Land.
We must not forget this, when we're reading the book of Numbers.
When we're reading Numbers, it's easy to get bogged down. It's a tragic record of sad failure. That's what we see when we only see the human side of this story.
When we look beyond the human situation, we see something more. We see God - and we begin to see something else. We see another story - a story of glorious victory.
Numbers invites us to think about past, our present and our future. We read about the old generation, the transition era, and the new generation - and we wonder, 'Where do we fit in?'
This isn't just about old age and youth. It's about the old life and the new life - the life without Christ and the life that's being transformed by Him. It's about the struggle to put the old life behind us. It's about the call of God. He's calling us to to walk with Him in new life.
In Numbers, there's a strong emphasis on divine revelation (Numbers 1:1; Numbers 2:1). More than eighty times, in Numbers, we read the words, "The Lord spoke to Moses."
What does God say to us about our life? 
 - Without Him, our life is in ruins.That's the message of our fall into sin (Genesis 3).
 - With Him, we are redeemed. This is the message of the Exodus.
 - Once we've been redeemed by the Lord, we're to worship Him. That's our calling. We learn much about worship in Leviticus.
 - Worshipping the Lord involves more than what happens when we're in the Lord's House. We're to serve the Lord while we're travelling through life's wilderness. This is the challenge of Numbers. Find God in the wilderness. Follow Him as He leads you out of the wilderness and on to the Promised Land.
How are we to serve the Lord? We must begin with this - We have been saved by the Lord. Salvation comes before service. We've been saved by grace. Now, we must grow in grace. "Stage by stage", we must put the wilderness behind us, and press on to a life of faithful and fruitful service. 
 - Serving the Lord is a privilege that is given to us by the God of grace (Numbers 3-4).
 - We are to serve the Lord - according to His will (Numbers 7).
How are we to become God's faithful and fruitful servants? What we must learn is this - The way of service is the way of consecration (Numbers 6:1-8) and blessing (Numbers 6:24-26). Blessing comes from the Lord. It comes to us when we are consecrated to Him.
What does it mean to be consecrated to the Lord? It means this - We are to follow Him in the way that He leads us. When we take our eyes off Him, we will drift away from Him, and we will be pulled more deeply into the wilderness. When we keep our eyes on Him, He will lead us towards the Promised Land. 
Numbers challenges us - What will we be? Will be faithful? Will we be failures? In Numbers 13, we read about the unbelieving ten and the faithful two. God is saying to us, 'Let there be less unbelief, and more faith.' Numbers 13:30 is particularly challenging - "Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’"
In these words of Caleb, we learn about faith.
 - Our faith is based on facts - the promise of God.
 - Standing on the facts - God's promise, we believe that God is faithful. We believe that He will fulfil His promise. This is faith.
 - This brings us on to feelings. We don't start with feelings. We begin with facts. We build on facts. God's promise gives the firm foundation for our faith. When our faith is securely based on God's facts, our feelings will follow the lead given to them by God's facts and our faith. 
Without the God-given foundation for our faith, our feelings will take us all over the place. That's what happened to the people of Israel. The majority of the people lost sight of God's saving purpose - and they wandered around in the wilderness for forty years - “Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly” (Numbers 32:11-12). When we read about failure of the majority, we must not forget faithful Caleb and Joshua. What a great example and wonderful inspiration they are to all of us.
In Numbers 27:18-23, we learn that Joshua had been chosen by God to succeed Moses as the leader of His people.
"So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership,and lay your hand on him. Make him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence ... At his command the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in.’ Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and made him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses."
Reading about those who failed the Lord and those who were faithful - This challenges us: What will we  do? What will we be? Will we fail the Lord? Will we be faithful to Him?
To those who are unfaithful, the Lord says, "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23).
To those who are faithful, He gives His promise - "Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess" (Numbers 33:53).
Looking beyond the promised land, we see the promised Saviour.
In Numbers 19:9, we read about "cleansing ... purification from sin." This is what Jesus came to do for us. He's "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
In Numbers 28, we read about the feasts of Israel. they're full of prophetic significance. They point forward to our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the promised Saviour. Let us learn to look beyond all the details - to catch a glimpse of Jesus, our great Saviour.     

Friday, 5 October 2018

We thank You, Lord, for Your Word. It's " a lamp to our feet and a light to our path,"

Numbers 8:1-26
We thank You, Lord, for Your Word. It's " a lamp to our feet and a light to our path" (Psalm 119:105). As we read Your written Word, we hear the voice of Jesus, Your living Word. Jesus speaks to us. He calls us out of our darkness. He calls us into Your light. It's the light of Your salvation. It's the light that changes everything. It's the light of Your love.

Lord, You speak to us. Help us to speak to You.

Numbers 7:48-89
Lord, You speak to us. Help us to speak to You. You're speaking. Are we listening? You're listening to us. Are we speaking to You? Your Word to us is the call of love. You tell us that You love us. You're calling us to love You. May our words (and our life) be our response to Your love - "loving Him who first loved me." 

Friday, 21 September 2018

Living for You, Lord, is not easy.

Numbers 1:1-54
Living for You, Lord, is not easy. We face determined opposition from Satan. He keeps coming back at us, again and again. We thank You, Lord, that we do not stand against him in our own strength. We stand in Your strength, in the victory of our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lord, You call us to "be filled with Your Spirit."

Numbers 6:1-27
Lord, You call us to "be filled with Your Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18) - the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of love. You are the holy God, the loving God - our holy Father, our loving Father. May there be, in us, the family likeness. Help us to become more like You - more holy, more loving.

We thank You, Lord, that Jesus, Your Son, has taken our sin upon Himself.

Numbers 5:1-31
We thank You, Lord, that Jesus, Your Son, has taken our sin upon Himself. We thank You that He brings Your salvation to us. With Jesus as our Saviour, we cannot remain the same as we were before we met Him. Jesus changes us. He makes us new. Help us, Lord, to live in the power of this new life which Jesus gives to us. Help us to live in His power - the power of His love.

Lord, You're calling us to grow in Christ.

Numbers 4:1-49
Lord, You're calling us to grow in Christ. You're calling us to be changed - changed in our way of thinking, changed in our way of living. You're calling us to be less self-centred - and more centred on You. May there be less doing our own thing - and more following Jesus, less living in the weakness of the flesh - and more living in the power of the Spirit.

Before we began to serve You, Lord, You were calling us to be Your servants.

Numbers 3:1-51
Before we began to serve You, Lord, You were calling us to be Your servants. Before we can serve You, we must be saved by You. We're saved to serve. Help us, Lord, to receive Your salvation and to give ourselves in Your service. Your salvation always comes first - never our service! Your salvation never stands on its own - it leads to our service! 

Lord, we thank You for Your Word.

Numbers 2:1-34
Lord, we thank You for Your Word. You have spoken to us. You are still speaking to us. It's Your Word that leads us on into Your future. Help us to listen to what You are saying to us, to build our lives on Your Word, to let Your Word flow out from us, to bring blessing to many.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Past Redemption, Present Obedience, Future Hope

Numbers 15:1-41
God’s work among His people was directed toward the future – “Once you’re settled in the land I’m giving you” – and it was grounded in the past – “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God” (Numbers 15:2,41). Our present obedience draws strength from our past redemption – “It is finished” – and our future hope – It is still to come.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Listen to what God is saying. Do what He has said.

Numbers 1:1-4:49
God spoke, Israel obeyed (Numbers 1:1,54). This is the constant pattern of the life of faith - hearing and obeying the Word of God. The names of God's people differ from place to place. The pattern of their life remains the same. This pattern is also emphasized in Numbers 2, which begins with God speaking (Numbers 2:1) and ends with the people obeying (Numbers 2:34). This pattern is repeated in Numbers 3-4, which begin with God's Word (Numbers 3:1; Numbers 4:1) and end with our obedience (Numbers 3:51; Numbers 4:49). In Numbers, we read so much that is unfamiliar to us. We must learn to look for the Word that comes to us, in our time, as a Word from the Lord who is "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). Hear and obey. Listen to what God is saying. Do what He has said.

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