A short verse and comment for each day of the month
revisiting earlier editions
2015 – 30th Anniversary Year
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)
“I will bring you home” Zephaniah 3:20(NIV)
These are words of comfort and hope. To all who are feeling lost or isolated; to all who are struggling in their walk with Jesus; to all who are strangers in this world. “I will bring you home.”
These are words that can be trusted, “I will…” because the One who speaks them is unchanging. It’s personal. You matter and He will bring you home… There’s a future – for all who put their trust in Jesus. There’s a belonging. Home is where you belong and though you may feel homeless now, a heavenly home is being prepared and one day you’ll be together with Christ and all the saints – forever. No more wandering, no more struggles, no more tears. Home at last.
“goodness, which Thou hast laid up” Psalm 31:19
A supply depot for good of every conceivable kind for the child of God as he makes his way through life.
Goodness laid up means that God thought of it before-hand. No need for Him to go off and produce it when needed.
Goodness laid up, if God put it aside, means it will far exceed and outshine anything you could dream of. Not a mountain of butter that will melt in the noonday sun but an infinite supply of good things ready for your use today.
“with God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26
The truth of this should bring hope to all of us. Jesus had startled His disciples with the statement that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (thought to refer to what was called the eye-gate in the city wall) than for a rich man to be saved. This He said because a rich young ruler who came to Him seeking the way to eternal life was not prepared to sell what he had and become a follower of Jesus.
Jesus was saying that whatever hindrances there are, God can remove. His words of assurance come to us today. Whatever is in your way – stopping you from believing or growing in faith – can be removed.
You may endorse “IMPOSSIBLE” over many things but God pays no heed to this. “POSSIBLE” is His endorsement.
“Thou art there” Psalm 139:8
In this psalm the psalmist is asking whither we may go to escape from God. He mentions heaven and taking the wings of the morning, and darkness and the uttermost parts of the sea and also says “If I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there”.
There are some awful places on earth, some ghastly situations in which a man may find himself. “Even there” says the psalmist, “shall thy hand lead me”. We may forsake Him sometimes: He never forsakes us. Wherever you are, God is there.
The servants of the Lord must find great comfort in these words.
“what the rising from the dead should mean”Mark 9:10
Jesus said His disciples were free to tell others about His transfiguration when He had risen from the dead. Rising from the dead referred to His resurrection. Look at what it means. First, it was the Only Begotten Son of God who was raised -amazing that Hecame, that He died and today He is our risen, ascended Lord. He accomplished our salvation by dying and that was vindicated bHis rising from the dead. Because He lives, we shall rise in the resurrection.
Our Saviour is a living Guide and Comfort, a Counsellor and Sustainer and all because Jesus is alive.
His being alive means that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Today we worship Jesus our ascended Lord, the One who is risen from the dead.
“the Lord’s name is to be praised” Psalm 113:3
Mentioning the name of Jesus brings blessing to those who love Him. He has done such great things for us.
His Name carries a promise – we ask the Father in His Name and expect to receive: this is asking in faith, believing. Many times we do not get what we ask for because in our ignorance we ask for the wrong thing. His Name is to be praised because He only gives good things to His children.
The word of the Lord is as a strong tower. He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. No needto fear trouble when the Lord is the strength of your life. He will take care of you. The water you have to cross may be deep and the way rough, but claim the promise of His Presence and the blessings in His Name. Praise theLord!
“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” Proverbs 28:26
Like shaking hands with yourself – it gets you nowhere.
Everyday life consists of trusting one another. We trust that those who process and supply our food, who are responsible for the maintenance of our services and who affect us in any way will do their job properly. We just could not live without an element of trust in our fellow men.
In the realm of the spirit, in the purpose and meaning for life, we need to trust God. He has provided sufficient evidence of His existence and His concern, and has given us the capacity to trust Him.
Knowing this, the man who declines to do so but leans on his own broken frame, is a fool.
“He began again” Mark 4:1
It calls for a lot of patience, beginning again.
You must try and put yourself in the place of your listener. Remember what a long time it took you to get where you are.
Don’t be frustrated when you have to start all over again. Jesus began again, probably went right back to the beginning, when He taught the crowd that gathered to hear Him.
If it’s good stuff, you can afford to begin again.
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion” Psalm 137:3
This was the taunt thrown at those who had been taken captive to Babylon.
The enemy is glad when the child of God loses his song. The Christian’s life is joyful even in the midst of distress and difficulty – the peace of the Lord sees to that – and it is a cause for concern when one of the number loses his song.
Those with whom you live or work may have their share of this world’s idle ditties. Do you provide one of the songs of Zion? If not, could you give your first performance today?
“God is no respecter of persons” Acts 10:34
This means He does not prefer one before another.
If you will come to Him, you won’t find He will turn you down.
Furthermore, Christ died for sinners and these are the only folk He can really do anything for. So come just as you are.
He knows no failures either, and once you are in His hand, He will make your life the very best it can ever be.
Do business with the Lord today.
“We are well able to overcome” Numbers 13:30
There were twelve basketfuls left over when Jesus fed five thousand, seven when he fed four.
David only needed one of the five stones in his pouch to slay the giant that defied the armies of Israel.
The Lord had another 7,000 in reserve when Elijah wanted to opt out of service,
Four lepers confessed to having bread enough and to spare when God transferred them from one side to another.
What makes you think supplies will run out when your turn comes?
“Many that are first shall be last and the last first” Mark 10:31
First among men, receiving their applause: out in the front, leading the way, flushed with success, striking a high note, ever increasing in gain and goods – but how much have you sent on ahead to heaven? Great care is needed because many that are first shall be last.
On the other hand you can be poor in spirit, never hitting the headlines, conscious of failure, striving against sin and your giving amount to little more than a cup of cold water in the Lord’s name. You do what you can and nobody seems to notice. Take great comfort – Jesus said “The last shall be first”.
“A false balance is abomination to the Lord” Proverbs 11:1
4It is a common mistake to think that God doesn’t check the weight or count the change.
Do you expect to receive from others more than you are willing to give them? Do you want to get a bargain without giving one?
When man’s life is weighed at the end of the day, increase will show by what he has given rather than what he has gotten.
Get the reputation for giving good measure – heaven will hear about it and God delights in just weight.
“she calls her friends and neighbours” Luke 15:9(NIV)
Have you spoken to yours? Or are you living another insular day with your love for Jesus in a sealed container?
You might just check up first that your life supports what you’re going to say.
Drink deeply at the well of salvation before you call them. Get the cup running over experience.
Your friends and neighbours are just waiting for that call.
“proving” Acts 9:22
It is easy to say a thing, but harder to prove it.
No doubt Saul of Tarsus’ studying at the feet of Gamaliel and his upbringing, described as a Jew and a Pharisee, helped him to argue his case.
But what told most was the change in his life. He came to Damascus to put followers of Christ in prison, but when he arrived there he was found to be preaching that Christ was the Son of God. The reason was that he had met Jesus and if you have met Him, the most telling thing will be your life too.
“A faithful messenger” Proverbs 25:13
Someone told you of the love of God. Did you pass it on? Too many of us are like stopped pipes. We hear good news and keep it to ourselves. We receive a blessing but do not share it.
A message is of no use until it is received. Just take a look at those around you. Has the message of the Gospel been received by these folk?
It is a faithful messenger that is needed. If you faithfully convey what you’ve heard it can be as a cool draught from the eternal stream of life in the heat of earth’s day.
“Launch out into the deep” Luke 5:4
So far you’ve always been able to put your foot on the bottom. If calamity struck the shore was always within striking distance. O, I know the Lord has used what you’ve given Him and He has taught the multitude from your boat, but He wants you to push out into deeper water.
Move into an experience where you need to trust the Lord fully. It’s not swimming when you’ve got one foot on the bottom nor fishing when your boat stays in the shallows.
Lay down your net for a catch – you’ll be surprised what the Lord will give you.
“Caleb had another spirit with him” Numbers 14:24
It was not the spirit of fear – that paralyses.
It was not the spirit of prejudice – that divides.
It was not the spirit of apathy – that kills.
It was not the spirit of hatred – that’s evil.
It was not the spirit of unbelief – that stops God working.
It was the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter whom Jesus promised would be in you.
“Jesus saw her weeping” John 11:33(NIV)
This was not the first time the sorrow of separation had been brought to His attention.
He saw the anguish when Adam and his wife were cast out of the Garden, and the confusion that took place when men tried to build a tower to heaven. He heard the cries of His people when they were persecuted by their Egyptian taskmasters.
Whenever great sorrow causes a child of God to weep, He is there — and His comfort is beyond words.
“your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” Isaiah 6:7(NIV)
This is the blessed experience of those who, realising how unclean and unfit they are in God’s sight, call out to Him. An awareness of the Presence and Holiness of God always makes a person recognise they are a sinner.
For many it means running away from God: unable to stand in His Presence and unwilling to call upon Him for mercy and forgiveness.
A correct diagnosis or assessment is essential if there is to be correct treatment. Covering our guilt and ignoring our sin is of no use. The Lord stands ready to forgive and cleanse us anew today just as much as when one of the seraphs flew with a live coal which he had taken from the altar and touched Isaiah’s lips.
“intending” Acts 12:4
Isn’t that what you were doing yesterday? You’re doing it again today, too! Good intentions, of course. Someone said that the way to hell is paved with good intentions.
Intending without doing is like a car without an engine or a bark without a bite. It looks or sounds good but that is about all.
So many things crowd into life that time and again, intentions get swept away.
Make sure that today you get further down the road than intending.
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” Philippians 1:3
You are poor indeed if you do not have treasured memories of someone.
In a world where everybody seems to be trying to do what they want, where greed and backbiting and hatred can be found on every hand, you occasionally meet someone who is filled with love and compassion. Thank God if you meet someone like this today.
But say, won’t you do something for someone today so that they will thank God for every remembrance of you?
“I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day” Acts 23:1
Not many can say this. The needle of conscience can give a stab of pain many years after the event.
A bad conscience can bring on a paralysis that is more damaging than theoriginal deed. Thank God for One who forgives and forgets. “Your sins and iniquities I will remember no more”, He says. He can purge the conscience and you can live today in all good conscience.
“The way of the Lord is strength to the upright” Proverbs 10:29
The way of the Lord is set out in the Bible but relatively few read it.
There is a blue-print for each individual yet few build according to it.
The Holy Spirit would lead men but almost all resist His overtures.
To find the way of the Lord may be hard but it is worth determined seeking.
For moral, spiritual and physical strength, for strength of character and of resolve, for strength in the face
of weakness – walk in the way of the Lord.
“Then God opened her eyes” Genesis 21:19(NIV)
A change of focus made all the difference. This was not the first time Hagar had found herself in this position. It had happened some eighteen years earlier just before giving birth to Ishmael and God had promised a future for the descendants of Ishmael. But now it seemed to have all gone out of shape and Hagar saw nothing but gloom ahead. How often we forget what God has promised when circumstances are against us! How slow we are to trust the One for whom nothing is impossible! God called to Hagar and her focus was changed. She saw that God had provided both water and a future. Look beyond your surroundings; look to the Lord and discover the future He has for all who trust in Him.
“warning every man” Colossians 1:28
Quite a task when you think about it.
Governments spend a lot of money in making known matters of national importance, schools and colleges in educating our children. Our roads are strewn with signs warning us about one thing and another. Yet a prevalent attitude among some regarding the truths of the Gospel is “Let them find out for themselves”.
We have a responsibility to warn men of the consequences of rejecting the Lord. How much time and effort are we putting into this?
“she attended unto the things which were spoken” Acts 16:14
We need preachers like Paul and women like Lydia. Paul was not too great to despise addressing a few women who met for prayer.
Lydia worshipped God though she really did not know Him, and attended to the matter when her heart was opened to the truth.
So don’t say that a word can’t be much because it was not spoken before a great company in a cathedral. Attend to what God is saying to you wherever and whenever He says it.
“live a life worthy of the Lord” Colossians 1:10(NIV)
Lifestyle is now a multi-million pound industry. From the food we eat to the holidays we take, from the clothes we wear to the leisure club we frequent, a certain lifestyle is offered – at a price. But here’s the alternative. Life styled on the life of Christ is what Christians should aspire to.
It is not about what we can get but what we can give. Wherever we are, whatever we do, we can all live in a way that reflects the very character of Christ. It calls for humility, a servant heart, an interest in others above ourselves with the aim of pleasing the Lord and bringing glory to His name. It’s active, not passive. It’s not about letting life pass you by but making the most of every opportunity. Live this kind of life today.
“an old disciple” Acts 21:16
Old, but still going strong. Mnason by name, he accompanied Paul and the others back to Jerusalem, where they stayed together.
More important, we may say, old but still a disciple. The passing of the years had strengthened his faith.
It is a tonic when you neet an old disciple. He’s an asset to any team. His counsel and courage are unequalled.
We are all going to get old one day, though some of us can’t imagine it. May we be an old disciple.
“The child has not awakened” II Kings 4:31(RAV)
Elisha sent his servant Gehazi to lay his staff upon the face of the dead child. The prophet knew that God would honour His promise and restore this child to his mother. Yet when Gehazi did this, nothing happened.
There is a lesson of the Christian life here for us all. The Lord may reveal to us what He will do but we may go about it in the wrong way. When this happens, don’t give up and go away or as some might do, pretend something has happened. It needed the prophet himself to lie upon the child and then pray to the Lord.
God will fulfil His promise in your life. Because this does not happen in the way or at the time you expected, don’t give up believing. Don’t lose your vision. Seek for its proper fulfilment.
“He will tell you what you ought to do” Acts 10:6(RAV)
Does God refer His patients to you?
Cornelius was a devout and generous man and one who spent much time in prayer. God answered by giving him a vision. In that vision, God spoke of examining Cornelius and referred him to Peter with the above words.
When somebody comes to you with their spiritual problem or need, do you tell them what they ought to do? Peter’s Pentecost had made him a trusted counsellor. The Holy Spirit will do the same for you.
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
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Bible teaching by Maurice Paine
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