Short comments on Bible verses (devotionals) (English edition) for one month by Maurice Paine & Andrew Paine (33)

A short verse and comment for each day of the month

revisiting earlier editions

2015 – 30th Anniversary Year

182 A

AUGUST 2015

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)

info@bam-gospeltrust.org

WEEK ONE

AUGUST 1

«seasoned with salt» Colossians 4:6

Paul is not talking about meat or vegetables. He is talking about the conversation of believers. Salt is used to season food so as to improve the overall taste. Often it is added during the cooking process so as to penetrate the food rather than simply sit on the surface. In the same way the conversation of all who follow Christ should be wholesome and gracious. This should not just apply to what we may say in public to give the right impression, but also what we say in private. Seasoning food starts as a deliberate action but gradually becomes an automatic aspect of cooking. To always speak with grace may require effort at first, but the more we do it, the more natural it can become. Season what you say today so that others may be blessed and encouraged.

AP

AUGUST 2

«Remember now your Creator» Ecclesiastes 12:1(RAV)

Man’s reason and scientific knowledge wants to forget our creator. For some reason, a creator God is offensive. Schools no longer teach it. Theologians no longer preach it and so many people now doubt it. People would rather believe in superstition or impressive theories. You’re not accountable to fate, but you are to a Creator. The advice here is for us to acknowledge our Creator. As the writer points out, a creator God gives meaning to life that evolution cannot give. God created for a reason and that reason is for us to know Him, to enjoy what He has made and find completeness in Him. To ignore Him leaves us alone and without hope. Remember and give thanks to Him today. AP

AUGUST 3

«the resurrection of the Lord Jesus» Acts 4:33

You may have religion without it.

But if you want righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, if you want forgiveness and cleansing from sin, if you want the new-birth experience, a changed life and living hope and an hundred and one other blessings, you’ll need the resurrection of Jesus.

The Book of Acts tells us that the apostles witnessed to this fact with great power. If Jesus lives in your heart you’ll be doing the same. The difference will be obvious and your message irrefutable.

If not, invite the living Lord in, today.

AUGUST 4

«Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us» Matthew 15:23(NIV)

It is sad to read that someone’s persistent crying for the Lord to help her caused the disciples irritation. Their ministry should have been assisting others to come to Jesus.

Servants of the Lord today can easily lose sight of their prime calling. Organising and arranging, preparing and publishing, talking and discussion can take over and helping the individual gets lost in a mountain of duties.

When a child came to talk with Uncle Francis, the children’s evangelist, he invariably put down what he was doing and chatted for a few minutes. How this contrasted with so many of us who would send them away until mission meeting time.

Take care you don’t inadvertently send away the one who needs you to take them to Jesus.

AUGUST 5

«Come and see…Then go and tell» Matthew 28:6 & 7 (NIV)

See for yourself! The invitation given by the angels to the followers of Jesus has been extended to all mankind. The personal experience is essential if you and I are to believe. It is not what others may say, but what you and I know that matters. In the face of severe opposition and ridicule, the disciples of Jesus stood firm because they had seen for themselves. The angels had gone, the day had passed, the euphoria of resurrection day had abated but the certainty remained because of that personal experience. It is not about religion, rules and regulations but about a relationship with God Himself. Once you have that, you’ll know He is alive and you’ll be able to tell others. AP

AUGUST 6

«the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors» Acts 5:19

Men may lay hands on your body and put you in prison but only God can set your spirit free.

Your body may be bound but if your spirit is free you are gloriously free.

The angel of the Lord still opens prison doors. So why be bound? Cry to God to send His angel to set your spirit free to worship Him, your tongue free to praise Him, your heart free to love Him and your life to serve Him.

AUGUST 7

«Go into the wilderness to meet Moses» Exodus 4:27

God always sends us but not often do we know the full purpose of our mission. Jacob was told to go back home and face his brother Esau. Elijah was told to go away and hide by the brook Cherith. Samuel was told to pass over the most able-bodied of Jesse’s sons when selecting a king.

Turn to the New Testament and find a blind man told to go and wash the clay off hiseyes, ten lepers told to show themselves to the priest and a nobleman, who asked Jesus to come to his house, sent home without him.

Peter was told to catch a fish to find a coin to pay his tax and Ananias was told to go to see Saul of Tarsus who was out to kill all followers of Jesus. And Philip was sent from a Samaria revival into the desert. No matter, when God sends you, albeit to the wilderness, you go.

WEEK TWO

AUGUST 8

«shielded» I Peter 1:5(NIV)

We have come to know the value of the heat shield on the spacecraft, the protective clothing worn when there is threat of disease or radiation and a screen to filter the harmful rays from the sun.

We need to know the value of the shield of God’s power that we can lower by faith to ensure safety against attack from the Evil One and so enable us to attain that full salvation that is promised at the appearing of Christ.

There is an inheritance kept in heaven for you who are shielded by God’s power. No power can wrest it from you and no place is safer than beneath the canopy of His salvation. That shield will not exempt you from suffering and all kind of trials but it will keep you from falling and get you safely to the end of life’s way.

AUGUST 9

«nothing is too difficult for you – «Nothing is too difficult for me» Jeremiah 32:17&27(GNB)

These verses give the perspective from both sides of our problem. Those who are weak, can do all things through Christ, who is their strength.

The Lord will make a path through your darkest valley and mark a route for you across the highest mountain.

What you find insoluble, He can and will dissolve. As at God’scommand Moses struck the rock in the wilderness and water gushed out, so the Lord will give you His water of life.

In His power you will be invincible. Stay in the centre of His will and you will know the blessing of His presence. Keep your eye off the raging sea if you would walk on the water! He is the God of the impossible: make Jesus Lord and nothing he asks you to dowill be too difficult for you.

AUGUST 10

«she brought an alabaster box of ointment» Luke 7:37

Her reputation was that of a bad woman. Nobody dreamed there was the desire for purity and godliness in her – until Jesus came, that is.

Take Christ to the most ungodly, the most unholy and the most unlikely today. You’ll be surprised at the alabaster boxes of ointment that appear.

Jesus forgives and receives the love of those whom He has forgiven. The love offerings they then bring can be quite amazing.

It just needs you, by your life and by your lips to let it be known that Jesus is in the house.

AUGUST 11

«She tied the scarlet cord in the window» Joshua 2:21(NIV)

It was a simple act of faith, yet it had eternal significance. It was no special cord, other than being scarlet, but it brought together various strands that remain to this day. Rahab had the faith to believe that this simple act would save her when everyone else perished. It was a public declaration of her trust in the living God. All could see the cord tied to her window. The salvation gained in a scarlet cord spoke of the salvation that was to come through the shed blood of Christ for all who will trust in Him. Rahab’s faith was such that it not only saved her and all with her, but God chose her to be an important link in His plan of salvation. God looks for obedience rather than position, faith rather than status. AP

AUGUST 12

«I will send rain on your land» Deuteronomy 11:14 (NIV)

For a people who had been trudging through the desert for forty years, these were refreshing words of promise. The blessing would come as the Israelites lived in obedience to God. If you and I are to enjoy the goodness of the Lord in our lives, then we must live according to his principles. Rain refreshes and how the Lord wants to refresh us by His Spirit. Rain brings growth and if you and I want to grow in our knowledge of and love for Christ then we need to live His way. Rain produces a harvest and as we yield to the work of the Holy Spirit within, so our lives will produce a harvest of righteousness to the glory of the Lord. AP

AUGUST 13

«Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and for ever.» Hebrews 13:8

This makes the reading and understanding of the Gospels essential to all who would prove the power and presence of Jesus in their lives today.

Follow Him from the manger to the Cross. Enter into His experience as He talks and mixes with the people of His day. Marvel at His words; be amazed at His miracles; tremble as He pronounces judgment and bask in His love and forgiveness.

Look into an empty tomb and let it dawn on you that He’s alive for evermore. He is alive today. And tomorrow. And for ever.

AUGUST 14

«you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all» I Samuel 30:8(RAV)

This was a precious promise made to David. He had wept until he had no more power to weep. His city of Ziklag had been ransacked and the inhabitants taken captive including his two wives Ahinoam and Abigail. The fighting men with him were so distressed that they spoke of stoning him. In his extremity David called on the priest to plead for him before the ephod or altar. Then it was that God gave him this promise.

God’s promises shine out like bright lights in the darkest hour. Their brightness is enhanced by the faith the child of God knows he or she can place in them.

God’s promises do completely solve the problem – though not in the way or according to the timescale we may set.

WEEK THREE

AUGUST 15

«If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.» Matthew 6:15 (NIV)

In other words, there’ll be a blockage. You’ll pray for forgiveness and won’t get it because you’re not yourself forgiving others.

It’s unusual to go long before someone does something that offends you. Praise God next time it happens and forgive them. You’ll get and value God’s forgiveness to you so much more.

Forgiveness is given to be passed on. God in Christ freely forgives you, now you be seen to be freely forgiving others.

AUGUST 16

«Let us search and try our ways and turn again to the Lord.» Lamentations 3:40

Not search and try by comparison with the man next door – he may not know the Lord.

Not by comparing ourselves with those at church or in the fellowship – it’s not unlikely they’re all making the same mistake.

Not by what our forbears did or will do – our knowledge of a past generation may only be fragmentary.

But search and try in the light of God’s Word. Then we shall find both the malady and God’s prescribed remedy.

Turn unto the Lord and he will abundantly pardon, stand you on your feet again and send you on your way rejoicing.

AUGUST 17

«as he walked along» Matthew 9:9(GNB)

A lot can happen when we walk along! If the way is monotonous it is generally our attitude rather than the way that is at fault.

As you walk along you pass people needing help and things needing attention. You can make an impression for good every day.

Many must have walked past Matthew’s tax collector’s booth: when Jesus walked along He saw a potential disciple and called him to that service.

What will you see as you walk through this day? Does what you see affect you? Even if only a matter for prayer.

And prayer is put into action when you do something. Take a step of faith, turn off into a side-road of need sometimes. Make your walk into a journey with purpose.

AUGUST 18

«Your name is like perfume poured out» Song of Solomon 1:3(NIV)

The very mention of the lover’s name filled the room with a most beautiful aroma. Such was her love for him that she relished the mention of his name. The world may dishonour the name of Jesus, but no amount of abuse can take away the beauty it holds for those who love him. The name of Jesus has power over the enemies of God. The name of Jesus brings healing to the broken hearted and peace to the troubled mind. The name of Jesus is exalted high above all others and every knee will bow when He comes again. Lift up the name of Jesus today and share the fragrance it brings. AP

AUGUST 19

«Take heart» Matthew 9:2(RSV)

Two words of comfort from the lips of Jesus to the paralytic and that can be the same to you today!

No matter what your trouble is or how long you have grappled with the problem, if your faith can get you to Jesus, you will find Him always encouraging. Listening to Jesus makes the faithless believe. It gives hope in place of despair.

This paralytic may have known what Jesus did for others – his friends certainly did or they would not have gone to the trouble to get him through the roof.

Many bear testimony to God’s power and deliverance in their lives. Take heart, it may not be as you think or without difficulties and problems following, but God will provide for your deliverance and meet your every need.

AUGUST 20

«If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God» James 1:5 (RAV)

Every day calls for decisions that involve an element of uncertainty. Solomon’s wisdom when he told the squabbling mothers to «cut the baby in half» is not given to us all.

In fact, the most intelligent and highly educated join everyone else in meeting situations about which they have to say «I don’t know».

But our part-verse today is both a valuable and a practical promise. Why not take God into your counsels when He’s offered such a facility? Only one condition – «ask in faith, nothing wavering.»

AUGUST 21

«When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets» Matthew 6:2 (NIV)

If when you meet a person in need you hold an inquiry or try to find the cause of the lack or pronounce some pious platitude, this verse is not for you.

You’ll be too busy trying to get to the root of the problem.

But if you give (and remember it’s a God-like characteristic to give) shun publicity, observe secrecy. You’ll be blessed, the recipient will not be embarrassed and your reward in Heaven will be assured, Jesus said so.

WEEK FOUR

AUGUST 22

«My soul thirsts for God.» Psalm 42:2 (RAV)

So does everyone else’s! The trouble is that most don’t recognise what they are thirsting for. And if they do manage to get what they want, they’re satisfied for a day or two and the thirsting starts all over again.

Happy is the man who has put his finger on the trouble – the emptiness and frustration of life that seems to be both meaningless and unavoidable.

God can fill that aching void, He can satisfy your deepest need. Best of all He is the living God who promises abundant life in Jesus. Driven by thirst for God can only end in an eternal revival. Use today’s hours and minutes in pursuit of it.

AUGUST 23

«So Joab blew a trumpet» II Samuel 2:28(RAV)

The trumpet makes an impressive sound. The priests, who led the procession around Jericho before the walls fell flat, blew on their trumpets. Gideon blew a trumpet andgathered the fighting men around him. And in the last days the trumpet of the Lord will sound and the dead will arise.

In Joab’s case, he blew a trumpet and the people stood still, listened to God’s word and did not pursue or fight any more. The sound of the trumpet did its work: it called them to attention. It signalled something important.

We need some God-sent trumpeters today. As individuals and as a nation we need to be called to attention. In some cases it is to be brought to our senses: most important is to realise that God is the Lord and we must worship Him.

AUGUST 24

«Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.» Matthew 6:8 (RAV)

So a lengthy description is unnecessary. Full details of the circumstances leading up to the situation are not essential. Your own opinion on this and any other matter is quite superfluous when you speak to God in prayer.

He wants you to come to Him – not to send a message by someone else. If the dilemma makes you re-establish contact with the Lord, then thank God for the things you need.

Identify yourself as one needing His mercy and find while you’re yet speaking, He will answer.

AUGUST 25

«Let my prayer come before you» Psalm 88:2(RAV)

These words of the Psalmist remind us of an important truth. It is of little use praying if God does not hear.

Indeed, the form of words he uses goes further and suggests that God needs not only to hear the prayer but for it to receive His attention.

The Psalmist tells us that he had prayed day and night: the matter consumed him. He needed faith to believe in prayer and to believe that God hears and answers prayer. And it’s the same with you and me. We need to pray believing – not just hoping, or going through a form of words that will make us feel better inside.

Don’t wait until calamity strikes before you try and develop faith. Believe now in the daily round of life and know the promises in God’s word and put your trust in them.

AUGUST 26

«new every morning» Lamentations 3:23

The Bible tells us that one of the first steps in Creation was to separate light from darkness. The hours of darkness were for a general shut-down of the machinery of life and a refreshment in undisturbed sleep. Happy are those who follow this pattern.

Sunrise does not merely herald another day, but a new day. Don’t clutter it with hang-ups from yesterday or unnecessary anxieties about tomorrow.

Rather take it and use it as if it were unique for there will never be another exactly like it. God’s compassions are new every morning – that means He who knows you and understands your situation will have pity on you in whatever area of life you develop a need for help.

AUGUST 27

«thorns in your sides» Judges 2:3

So small and yet so painful! You can’t see a thorn but there’s no question about whether you can feel it. If the Apostle Paul had one its likely lesser Christian warriors will be asked to bear the same, too. You may not detect it when you look at someone with a thorn in their side, but you would if you had one.

This verse gives us the reason God does not completely drive out but allows a snare to remain here and there. It is to keep us humble before Him and ever crying to Him and realising our utter dependence on Him.

Only very tiny, but in an odd sort of way there’s no doubt a thorn does a good job.

AUGUST 28

«the royal law» James 2:8

One that makes the commoner feel like a king. A law which, when observed, brings happiness to one and a sense of meaning and purpose to the other. Indeed, it is because this law is widely broken that war, hatred, bloodshed and rioting are so commonplace on our planet.

Everybody has opportunity to keep or break it every day. Jesus rated it second only to loving God with all your heart.

It is «Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.»

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AUGUST 29

«his compassions fail not» Lamentations 3:22

It means that exasperation or impatience will never meet us when we come to Him again in need.

It means that no preoccupation on His part will result in a failure to listen or to appreciate and to do something about the cry of His weakest child.

God’s compassion is our key to forgiveness and reinstatement, to re-kindled hope and rejuvenated spiritual and physical strength.

It is the balm that anoints the soul that cries out in despair or fear or failure or peril.

God’s compassions do not fail – it is you who might fail to receive them.

AUGUST 30

«Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them» Matthew 7:12 (RAV)

Herein lies the trouble. We want a bargain and this looks nothing like one. We want to get most at least cost.

But if you want to get more out of today than you got out of yesterday, put more in.

If you feel it’s more kindness or understanding or help or wise counsel you need, ask yourself, are you being generous with the same to others?

You won’t always seem to get back what you give out, but you’ll make many people happy and end life with a credit balance.

AUGUST 31

«Let us search and try our ways and turn again to the Lord.» Lamentations 3:40

Not search and try by comparison with the man next door – he may not know the Lord.

Not by comparing ourselves with those at church or in the fellowship – they may be making the same mistake.

Not by what our forbears did or will do – our knowledge of a past generation may only be fragmentary.

But search and try in the light of God’s Word. Then we shall find both the malady and God’s prescribed remedy.

Turn unto the Lord and he will abundantly pardon, stand you on your feet again and send you on your way rejoicing.

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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