A short verse and comment for each day of the month
A BAM Publication
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Written by Maurice Paine and Andy Paine
and published as a booklet
THE BY ALL MEANS GOSPEL TRUST
P O Box 7778 Solihull B92 7AG (UK)
“A bruised reed shall he not break” Isaiah 42:3
What a blessed promise this is in the prophecy of Isaiah because every one of us is likely to experience some bruising of our spirit at times.
Our frailty and failure causes some fracturing of our standing before God and before men and we wonder whether the break we have caused will ever mend again.
To all in such a situation today, let this promise drive you to the Lord. The bruising is often self-inflicted and our trying to mend it only makes the problem more acute.
We often attract suffering and difficulty to ourselves but the Lord will never cast away His penitent child.
Jesus is known for healing and restoring His followers and sending them on their way again.
“God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” I John 4:9
What happened when Jesus was born of Mary is more than something at which we stand and marvel.
We are amazed that God contracted into a mother’s womb and was born. We wonder as He began to grow up and engaged in conversation the wise men of His day in the Temple. Then witness that amazing few years of teaching and ministry and then stand in silence and awe as you read what happened at Calvary.
But no matter how great is your wonder, if you do not call out to Him in faith, receive the forgiveness offered and put your trust in Him you stay outside the area of grace.
Reach out in faith, call upon Him and begin to live in Him hence forward.
“the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies” Joshua 7:12
The Christian takes his instructions from God. Ignoring the need to do this can result in sorrow and an ineffective witness. That is what happened to the Children of Israel when one of them disobeyed and stole some of the booty from the Jericho battle. This transgression made all the army paralysed and inactive against the next enemy they met.
One man’s sin affected the whole army of Israel.
There are those today whose misconduct in secret amounts to sin in the camp and is hindering blessing that should be shared with others.
Confess, ask for forgiveness and arise in the purity of life in Christ when this is identified.
“you will protect me from trouble” Psalm 32:7(NIV)
Avoid what trouble you can but you won’t escape it all! Three pieces of a spiritual armour each of us can wear. We need to know the Lord. Receive the Lord and then know and accept the protection He affords.
Reach out your long arm of faith. Take hold of a God who is greater than all the trouble you may meet today. Escape what trouble you can but ride in the victory procession of all whose trust is in the Lord.
The protection the Lord affords is effective, no permanent damage need be done. You will be able to rejoice in the Lord and in the power of His might. You will see opposition bounce off you as you take this promise of God’s protection. Let it give you a pleasant day.
“when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountain side and sat down” Matthew 5:1(NIV)
It was as though Jesus said “Here I am. Come to me!” He is still saying this today. The crowds seemed large and so did their need. As sheep without a shepherd, they wandered aimlessly around, going to and fro but getting nowhere.
Jesus saw the crowd as individuals, each with a need. So it is today, Jesus lives to meet the need of all who will come to Him. The individual can feel lost in a crowd but he is never lost from the grace and compassion of Jesus.
That Jesus sat down showed that He had time to spend with them, to listen as well as teach. It is the personal touch of Jesus that we need in our lives today. Our special needs make us who we are. And faith is an individual thing. In this respect we try in vain to get lost in the crowd.
“may he be to you a restorer of life” Ruth 4:15(RAV)
The Good Shepherd restores our soul, and God lifts us up and puts us in the way again when we have fallen. There is no falling to rise no more. The healings of yesterday are past; now, a new day brings new life and strength to move forward in the way the Lord has for us.
Ruth stood with her aging mother-in-law, too young to be a widow she rejoiced in God’s provision for her and in a son born to her that should become chosen of God in the Messianic line in the Old Testament.
The other women who had watched the love match between Ruth and Boaz now uttered this prayer for God’s blessing.
God can breathe His blessings into what seems to be an exhausted life. His will and plan can fully restore you.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” Matthew 5:8(NIV)
Sin in the heart prevents us from seeing God. The disease of sin prevents us from seeing what God has revealed.
Attention to the state of the heart is the first thing we need. The eye of our understanding is insensitive to the things of the Spirit until the heart is cleansed from its sin.
Only when the blood of Jesus is by faith applied do you realise how far away from God you have fallen.
Call upon God to make you clean within and see the wonder and beauty you may have missed for so long.
We all need to be praying for purity in the heart, for obedience and trust in Him.
Where Jesus is Lord in the life, the blessing of that life is seeing God.
“The Lord will be king over the whole earth” Zechariah 14:9(NIV)
The prophet looks forward to the return of Christ and His millennial reign. It is a day that all who know Christ as Saviour can look forward to; a day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. It is a day when this groaning world will be brought into the freedom of being under the rule of the One who made it. It’s a day when truth and justice will permeate every aspect of life.
It is a day when Satan will be banished and all evil suppressed as Christ shows just how this world could have been if we had lived His way. The Church will reign with Him and whilst a new heaven and earth is to follow, it encourages us to work for the good of this earth now in readiness for that day. AP
“the precious blood of Christ” I Peter 1:19
Precious because there is nothing like it! It is the only thing that will cleanse sin’s stain from the human heart and make it possible for the penitent to gain admittance to heaven. There is only one Saviour.
Precious because of its intrinsic value. It is the blood of the Son of God, shed for us. Only this blood can cover the sin of the world. Blood that has been spilled in wars across the earth all down history cannot prepare one soul for heaven.
Precious because God has made its atoning value available and offered to all who will believe. God the Father gave His Son and the Holy Spirit who applies the blood to all who believe. Beyond compare, it is the precious blood of Christ.
“David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him” I Samuel 18:14
Many situations in which we find ourselves call for wisdom from above. Only God knows the way that things will fall out and only He knows the heart and thoughts of others.
We might say that David was careful about the way he dealt with Saul who had plotted against him. David might have complained that it was unfair but he did not. Rather he looked to God to sort out the matter. He trusted God and knew that in God’s right time he would become king.
In what you may see as a difficult situation today, seek God’s will and behave wisely and know that the Lord is with you.
We need heaven’s wisdom and continuing grace in all we do and God’s blessing on our behaviour.
“The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life” Proverbs 13:14(NIV)
Teaching that is offered you needs to be weighed carefully. But you will lose a lot if you refuse all that is offered you.
Good counsel and teaching is like good seed sown, it will grow as you apply it in your own life.
Let others play their part in getting and keeping you going.
Learn from other’s mistakes; see what others have done and see what you might do better. The wise are usually willing to share their knowledge with others. By sensible application of what they teach you, you can take their instruction.
Teaching needs a medium in which to grow. Life is full of opportunities but you need to look for them. Don’t discard them. Accept good teaching and tap into the fountain of life.
“Behold the Lamb of God” John 1:29
Throughout the years of the Old Testament, as priests had sacrificed lambs they looked forward to the day they anticipated when John the Baptist made this announcement.
The Gospel narrative went on to describe how Jesus would go to Calvary as a Lamb to be sacrificed once and for all. This was God’s Lamb, provided by the Father in the Person of His Only Son.
We wonder not many who heard John’s words understood at the time what they meant. The Lamb was slain but at that same time became victor over the grave, and our Saviour and Lord. Untold numbers have since trusted in Him.
Jesus receives all who come to Him. They make Him Lord and Saviour. They have looked and lived in newness of life.
“A woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume” Mark 14:3(NIV)
How do we express our love for the Lord? This woman had a reputation that caused embarrassment to others but not to Jesus. What the disciples considered a waste was valued by Jesus because he knew the depth of love that was behind the action. Jesus uses the situation to teach about love and forgiveness and makes a clear link between the two. Saying the right words or acting to impress others is not what Jesus is looking for. Because this lady knew how much she had been forgiven, she brought the very best she had as an expression of her love for Christ. Remembering how much we have been forgiven will help us express our love for the One who has forgiven us. AP
“eternal life” John 10:28
This is the gift of God through Jesus to those who are His. “Eternal” means more than that it lasts for ever. It must be something perfect. There is no fault or sin in it all. And eternal life is a perfect state that will never be lost.
How different from the Garden of Eden when failure on one point brought toil and sorrow all over down the centuries. In eternal life all fear is gone. So it is more wonderful than anything else you know.
It in no way depends on performance by those who have it; Jesus, who makes the promise, makes the gift. It is so wonderful that it is too great to understand. We can only show our appreciation in worship from hearts redeemed by His precious and atoning blood.
“If you can find but one person” Jeremiah 5:1(NIV)
Things were so bad amongst the Israelites that not one person could be found who was honest and upright before the Lord. They spoke the right words and went through the religious duties but God knew that their hearts were far from Him.
Yet what a difference one person could have made! If only someone had been found at this time, then God would have shown mercy. You may feel outnumbered at work; you might be the only believer in your street; you may even be amongst those who have turned Christianity into a religion, but don’t pretend, don’t compromise. Live in honesty and truth before the Lord and bring blessing to those around you. AP
“the forgiveness of sins” Ephesians 1:7
There’s nothing quite like it. To know that your deepest wrongs have been cancelled out brings a whole new dimension to life. Our relationship with God is restored and our relationships with other people are affected. The burden of guilt is lifted and we can walk tall in the freedom that Christ gives. What’s more, the hold that sin once had upon us is broken and we can live a new life according to the way of the Holy Spirit within us. Forgiveness of sins is not just for a select few, but available for all who will trust in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
It’s not just for now; it’s for eternity. Let others know of this forgiveness today. AP
“it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod” I Samuel 21:9
Goliath’s sword was stowed away as a museum piece until David came along and used it again when he came to the priest in the town of Nob.
The incident reminds us that there are better things to do than make victories from the past into cherished memories.
David was running away from danger in what he felt was the plan of God for him. He had fled without preparation and had nothing in his hand.
Often in life we face a situation where we have nothing in our hand. When this happens we can turn to the Lord. Knowing His help in time of need and the victories of the past that your life has been built upon will stand you in good stead in today’s conflict.
“Weeping may endure for a night But joy comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5(RAV)
It can be a long night when it is filled with weeping, but not so long that you cannot look ahead to the joy promised in the morning. God has a wonderful way of making the dawn a glorious display of His righteousness.
Your distress overnight may be real but so is the awakening joy of a new day.
Let this promise of the Lord take you into the threshold of tomorrow. The weeping will come to an end but not the joy.
This is especially so as it refers to the joy of sin forgiven and peace with God. In His providence the light of a new day will dispel all grief.
No sorrow or crying or any more pain will be known in the morning of God’s new day.
“The man who was healed had no idea who it was” John 5:13(NIV)
It seems surprising that the man who had been completely healed from a condition he suffered for thirty-eight years did not know who had healed him. He soon found out that it was Jesus. Then he became an ambassador and witness to what Jesus had done for him.
There must be many things we experience and at the time do not know what they mean. Should we not be asking what God is doing in our life. We cannot witness to His saving and keeping power if we do not understand what is happening.
This man sought to know who had healed him, and was then able to tell the Jews it was Jesus who made him whole. This is the most wonderful testimony anyone can have.
Let us publish what God is doing for us.
“with the help of his daughters” Nehemiah 3:12(NIV)
What may not seem unusual to us in our society was highly unusual in the times of Nehemiah. To have daughters help with building the wall would have raised a few eyebrows not to mention a few prejudices. This seems to be the only reference to women helping to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem but what an encouragement to us all. Being God’s people is all inclusive. Social stereotypes are ignored and prejudices are buried.
Building the kingdom of God is something we can all be involved in, young and old, men and women, sons and daughters. Don’t leave others out, don’t be left out. Get involved, be a part and help build Christ’s kingdom.
“How many loaves do you have?” Mark 8:5(NIV)
With this question, Jesus turns the whole perspective on the situation around. Instead of looking at what they hadn’t got, as the disciples were doing, Jesus looks at what they have got. Jesus hadn’t actually asked the disciples to provide the bread. He’d simply shared his concern for the people. But instead of asking how they could help, the disciples, like many of us, could only see the difficulties. Jesus saw the opportunity.
Jesus longs to use what you and I do have to encourage our faith, to bring blessing to others and to be part of what he wants to do. Rather than looking at the problems and difficulties, see the opportunities and offer what you have and are in service to the Lord today. AP
“The cup from the Lord’s right hand is coming round to you” Habakkuk 2:16(NIV)
Things will catch up with you! Your turn will come; the Lord will come round to you. It is true that He is busy attending to others, but He will get round to attend to you. Whether it be correction, encouragement, special guidance or just the assurance and blessing of His Presence, you will know He is with you.
Having to wait sometimes is a good thing. Our need is to spend the time wisely when we are waiting. Some growth can be made without attention. The gardener is not needed to attend to his plants all the time. Things do not just stop when we are waiting. What we do with every hour of time is accountable. This was something the prophet had to learn and it is something we all need to learn too.
“so in Christ shall all be made alive” I Corinthians 15:22
Being ‘in Christ’ makes all the difference, not just for this life but for eternity. Being ‘in Adam’ means we are born under the curse of sin. As a result we are already dead to the things of God even though we may be physically alive. Our bodily decay is simply an outward evidence of how we are ‘in Adam’. We face the wrath of God. But what a difference Christ’s death and resurrection make. Sins can be forgiven, hurts can be healed, freedom can be experienced – now. We can be right before God and what’s more, because Christ has risen from the dead, we will be resurrected into a new body to fully enjoy a new creation without decay. Live in Christ today and enjoy the fullness of new life. AP
“bind this line of scarlet thread in the window” Joshua 2:18
God has left a red line of salvation running throughout the pages of Scripture. Not always recognised at the time, it points to the blood of the Anointed One who should come. From animals sacrificed to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve through repeated sacrifices made by Abel, Noah and many other priests officiating in the Old Testament sacrifices, a red line of blood runs throughout the Bible to the Upper Room where Jesus told His disciples that the cup they were to drink pointed to His blood.
Rahab was told to hang the scarlet cord in her window and to be sure her family members were sheltering beneath it, so today our only salvation is through the blood of Christ. We need by faith to be sheltering beneath this in our lives.
“nor will they train for war any more” Micah 4:3(NIV)
It is hard to imagine a world without conflict or war. Reports of bombings and shootings have become commonplace on our news bulletins. Training for war is a crucial part of life for powerful nations and insurgents alike. Micah speaks of a day when Christ will return to planet earth to bring peace instead of war. Military training camps and institutions will be redundant. Those dealing in arms will be out of work. Those pulling triggers or pressing the buttons will themselves be destroyed as peace reigns. The prophet is looking forward to the Millennium reign of Christ. Should we even now be working for peace in readiness for that day.
“the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken to him” John 4:50(RAV)
“Go your way, your son lives,” is what the Lord said to the nobleman who came to him and he did just that.
Don’t try to dissect and examine every word that is given you! Latch onto it in faith as soon as you have it.
The Bible is God’s Word to you just as much as the instruction given was for the nobleman to obey.
Heaven is filled with people who believed the Word of the Lord. It is a testimony repeated in so many different forms. God who knows everything has a word specially suited to everyone.
It’s not a new translation or presentation that we want. It is faith in what God says that we need to develop. This is the victory that overcomes all obstacles, even your faith.
“I waited patiently for the Lord” Psalm 40:1
Patience can be more difficult for us because we do not know what the future holds. We feel our time is limited and do want most things done today. We do not normally want to wait for anything we think we should get straightaway. And it is probably to develop patience that we are kept waiting for things anyway. We think we are short of time whereas God has all the time in the world!
Faith encourages us to trust in Him while we are kept waiting, too. When properly exercised, faith will show us that God is at work on our behalf hearing and answering our prayer. Patience proves God’s promises to us as they come alive and so His Word tells us to let patience have its perfect work that we might be entire or complete in every aspect.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you” Isaiah 43:2(NIV)
We all have some deep water experience we need to pass through if we are to reach the other side. Waves that come often seem to be too big for us and this is God’s promise to each of His children that He will be with them.
The bliss of heaven is the experience of those who have fought and won life’s battles, for those who went forward in the strength of the Lord. They knew that while they would never make it, Jesus’ promise was the spar to which they clung. They looked in faith that trusted knowing that when all other help failed, God would not fail them. Our trust must be in the same never-failing God.
Thank God and praise Him and enter every new experience trusting Jesus to see you through.
“Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see!” Isaiah 42:18(NIV)
As we view the conduct of nations and individuals all around us, man is obviously blind and deaf to the overtures of God’s love and grace. We can recognise the problem but what can we do about it?
We turn away from failure and distress when we call upon God to assist us and seek to use what He has given us.
He has spoken, will we hear? His display waiting for our eyes, will we see? Our need is to act upon God’s Word for us. What he shows us is for our uplift and blessing.
Unwillingness on our part and refusal to look to Him deprives us of so much. Let us put things in order, pay attention, look and listen for what God would say to us today.
“whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” I Corinthians 10:31(NIV)
We can easily forget that when we surrender our lives to the lordship of Christ, all that we do can be to His glory.
No need to wonder what you can do or what contribution you can make. When you belong to Jesus you are ready at all times to be used by Him. What He asks you to do may not be known to you beforehand, your responsibility is to be ready for Him. When the aim of the life is to glorify the Lord, it does enhance the standard of that life and brings joy and contentment.
Remember that the Lord can use the smallest thing in the least important life to bring help and blessing to that person in need.
Living for Jesus is a full and rewarding life.
Quotations used in this document are from
the Authorised Version of the Bible unless
indicated by one of the following:
RAV – Revised Authorised Version
(Samuel Bagster 1982 Edition)
NIV – New International Version
(1984 edition NY Bible Society)
GNB – Good News Bible
RSV – Revised Standard Version