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Free Daily Bible notes by Rev Stephen Thompson


May 2013

Daily Prayer May 27th 2013

Prayer: Jesus be the Lord of all the regions of my heart.

Daily Prayer for May 2013

24th May 2013 – Help me to build that ‘steeple of praise’ in my soul, and make me an example to others of generosity and worship; but all to the glory of your Name.

23rd May 2013 –  Help me Lord to always read your Word in order to obey it. Keep me from the hypocrisy of calling others to do what I am unwilling to do.

22nd May 2013 – Lord God, thank you for the precious gift of speech. Help me to use words wisely, thoughtfully and with restraint. Help me to be an encourager of children and younger people. Let my words build up everyone in your body.

21st May 2013 – Lord, if I am planning anything that is not your will for me, please put a roadblock in my way. Save me from myself and my own way, however well-intentioned I may be. Your will be done.

20th May 2013 – The more I read this book Lord, the more I see its sure wisdom and the more I long to be wise.

17th May 2013 –  Lord Jesus, help me to walk the Calvary Rd.

16th May 2013 –  Thank you Lord for the gifts you have entrusted to me. Help me to so use them that the church gets built and your Name glorified.

15th May 2013Thank you Lord that you are a God of order and not of chaos. Thank you for the order I see in your church. Thank you for my place within your order and the knowledge that you have gifted me to play my part.

14th May 2013 – Lord God, all that I have is yours. Keep me from any greedy, grasping attitude towards that you have blessed me with and entrusted to my care. Thank you for your generosity, and for the enormous privilege of giving.

13th May 2013 – Thank you Lord that you have generously provided all we need to keep growing and stay spiritually fresh. Let us not neglect, to our spiritual detriment, what you have freely given.

10th May 2013 – Lord, my heart’s desire is to be an excellent worker on your building site. Help me to become even more skilful and I pray that my work will pass your all-seeing scrutiny and please you because it glorifies you.

9th May 2013 – Thank you Lord that you choose to work through us. It is such a privilege, and how gracious of you to then reward us. But may we never fail to see that the work is yours and so is all the glory.

8th May 2013 –  Lord please bless our ‘gatekeepers’ with great wisdom and courage. Above all, thank you that you watch over us.

7th May 2013 –  Lord I thank you for your wonderful gift of music. Thank you for the many times my own heart has been moved and stirred by good music. I ask that every musician in your church will recognise their privilege and responsibility. Let them always give you the very best and aim at all times to lift up your Name and not their talent. Indeed, whatever our gifts, may such be our attitude. To God be all the glory

6th May 2013 – Thank you dear Lord for your many and varied gifts. Thank you for the gift of organisation. May it be used by your Spirit and under your Word to glorify your Name and serve your church.

3rd May 2013 – Thank you Lord. You have caused me to understand that I am secure in you in all things. I realise this is not about the total absence of danger but the continual presence of God, and peace.

2nd May 2013 – We confess to you, dear Lord, our absolute dependence on the Holy Spirit. We cannot know or convey one spiritual truth without Him. We pray that many blind eyes will be opened, as ours have been. We want to say how deeply grateful we are for your gracious gift of spiritual sight. We don’t deserve it. We are eternally thankful for it.

1 May 2013 – Thank you Lord for all the people who serve quietly behind the scenes so that the public ministry of the church can go on. Help us all to value and honour them, and communicate to them that they are appreciated in your sight. Let them understand that what they do is ministry too.

Daily Bible Thoughts for May 2013

24 May 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 365

23rd May 2013Daily Bible thoughts 364

22nd May 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 363

21st May 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 362

20th May 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 361

17th May 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 360

Daily Bible thoughts 359: Thursday 16th May 2013: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7

Paul returns to the thought of human leaders and how they should be regarded. It is true that they are people of enormous privilege. They are: …those entrusted with the secret things of God. Yet they are servants of Christ. This is how Paul saw himself and he hammers the point by regular repetition. He was a slave in Jesus’ service.

Don’t imagine us leaders to be something we aren’t. We are servants of Christ, not his masters. We are guides into God’s most sublime secrets, not security guards posted to protect them. The Message.

We shouldn’t elevate men or form fan clubs around them (6, 7). It is God who makes the leaders what they are. He gives them their various personalities and gifts and He uses them. Let no-one speak and act as though this were not the case. The abilities come from God. Let all the glory go to Him.

In verse 1 Paul describes leaders as stewards. They are entrusted with God’s property: His message/revelation. A steward manages what belongs to his master and he will be held accountable for what he does with it. He must be faithful in his handling (2). It’s an occupational hazard for church leaders that at times they will be criticised and compared unfairly and unfavourably with other leaders. Paul is saying here that it doesn’t really matter to him where he ranks in popular opinion; where he sits in these ecclesiastical league tables. He is looking to God as his judge. He is content for Him to know and declare the truth about his life (3-5). The most important judgment is not yours of me, or mine of myself, but God’s perfect judgment of my whole life.

Even though Paul had a clear conscience (and that is a great blessing) he did not assume he was necessarily innocent (4). But he was content to leave matters in the Hands of God, knowing that He will make the all-important final judgment. Furthermore, His judgment will be full, for He sees and knows all things. Human judgment can only ever be superficial. Our eyes skim over the surface of things.

So don’t get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When he comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of – inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any of us get to hear the ‘Well done!’’ of God. The Message.

Here is a final sobering thought from the pen of F. B. Meyer :

We are all apt to arraign ourselves at our own bar, and pass verdicts which are altogether favourable, because we compare ourselves with characters and standards inferior to ours. It is a great mistake to judge yourself, for even if you score a favourable verdict – if you know nothing against yourself – it is liable to be reversed by the decisions of the Supreme Court. Great Verses through the Bible, p.421.

15th May 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 358

14th May 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 357

13th May 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 356

Daily Bible thoughts 355: Friday 10th May 2013: 1 Corinthians 3:10-23

Here is another great reason not to idolise church leaders. (To do so is an expression of worldly wisdom. This is a point Paul repeats in verses 18-23). We should remember that leaders are under God’s authority and will be judged by Him for their work. We might be big fans of what they do; the Lord may not be! It is, after all, His assessment that counts. The church is God’s temple (16, 17). Later, in (6:19, 20) he will refer to the Christian’s body in this way. But here it is clearly the local church that is in view. Don’t let anyone lift a finger to damage the church and think they can get away with it. It is a serious warning. Leaders carry a heavy responsibility. As builders on this site they need to make sure that their work is of the most excellent quality. Michael Griffiths, in his outstanding book about the church, wonderfully named ‘Cinderella with Amnesia’, says that the last expression in (9) could read: …God’s building project.  The church is ‘God’s building project’. Leaders like Paul, Apollos and Peter are all workers together with God on His site. This is true not only of leaders of course. We all are.

In an extremely challenging passage Paul makes it clear that our work will be inspected (13-15) and not everyone will come out of it well.  Christians are going to be judged for their service and rewarded accordingly. There is only one foundation for the church and He is Jesus Christ (11). There is no other; no other way (John 14:6); no other Name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). But upon this wonderful foundation we are called to involvement in building the church. As Paul recognised, we need the grace of God (10) to do His work. We cannot labour without His imparted strength. Also, we require the best materials (12). Paul is using metaphorical language but his point is clear. We are accountable. Our work will be assessed. Good work will be rewarded. But it is also possible to be a Christian and yet suffer loss (15). You’re a Christian, yet you are saved ‘by the skin of your teeth’ as I used to hear some people say in years gone by. Paul paints the picture of someone escaping from a burning building. They get out and are safe, but only just, and they bring nothing out with them (15). This is a sobering truth and it should motivate us to examine our hearts and seek to give God our very best with what remains of our lives.

Every act we do, every word we utter, the way in which we spend any moments of our time, is either a fragment of gold, silver, and precious stones, or of wood, hay, and stubble… F.B.Meyer: Great verses through the Bible, p.420

Daily Bible thoughts 354: Thursday 9th May 2013: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Christians of an older generation had (or thought they did) a clear view of what worldliness is. To them it mainly involved avoiding smoking, dancing, drinking and ‘the pictures’! (Although those same people might well sit with their feet up in front of the telly watching all manner of rubbish, and that was okay!!) Well, it’s questionable whether those legalistic additions to the law of God had very much at all to do with worldliness. In this passage Paul identifies three things that definitely do constitute worldliness:

Jealousy (3): You may have met people in churches who keep all the evangelical rules. They tick all the boxes for acceptable conduct. However, this green-eyed monster hasn’t been exorcised from their lives. They can stand on a soap box and lay down the law to the rest of the church, but they are nasty and mean-spirited and it often stems from being envious of brothers and sisters: what they have and what they do. They are jealous of their roles and opportunities, and maybe even of their possessions and relationships. Jealousy shows a lack of trust in God and submission to His plans for us. I don’t need to be like anyone else. I just need to be the ‘me’ God is calling me to be.

Quarrelling (3): Although it is not always so, I believe it very often turns out to be the case that the most legalistic people are the most critical. They are quick to judge and point the finger at others (not realising that when you point a finger at someone else you are pointing three back at yourself!) They are regularly quarrelsome and divisive and trouble-making. It is sad, but it is often the case. What would God rather have: a peaceable person who smokes or a nasty piece of goods who, in His Name, does not?!! Okay, there are very good reasons for not smoking. I’m not advocating it. But the Bible nowhere forbids tobacco, but it certainly does point out the sin of being quarrelsome.

Division (4): This could equally be called ‘party – spirit.’ We could also label it: ‘Elevating leaders’ or ‘Putting men on pedestals’.’ It’s wrong to do this, and in the case of the Corinthians it led to divisions in their ranks. (It strikes me as ironic that people who hold a traditional view of worldliness can be divisive, whereas Paul highlights division as a mark of worldliness.) It is fascinating to see how Paul will not allow himself or his fellow leaders to be idolised. He emphasises that the church is God’s and the human leaders also belong to God (9). Let God alone be dominant and glorified. It’s all about Him. He works through church leaders (5). These leaders have a variety of God-assigned tasks (5b) but they pull together in the same direction (8) and will be rewarded. However, only God grows the church (6b). Let leaders do faithfully what God has called them do, but let’s not imagine we grow the church. Surely this takes some of the pressure off? It also begs the question, ‘Why do we treat people with big churches as extra special and Kingdom ‘Superstars’?’ Did not God grow those works that they steward? (Of course, this is not to say that we can’t learn from them, but let’s maintain some perspective.) Paul here consciously vacates the pedestal they have put him on, and it is wonderful to see. It is so easy to let people’s admiration go to your head. It’s best not to believe your own ‘reviews’ when they are good!! (Although do take notice of the bad ones. Even if they are unjust, there will be something there for you to learn, if you dare to look it in the face.) Paul, who worked so hard for/with God knew that in fact it wasn’t him at all but the grace of God that was with me (1 Cor.15:10).

Daily Bible thoughts 353: Wednesday 8th May 2013: 1 Chronicles 26:1-19

Along with the four thousand singers, there were also four thousand gate-keepers who needed to be organized into twenty-four divisions (1 Chron.23:5). Obed-Edom was one of them. You may remember him (4, 5b and 15)? We have read before that God blessed his household and everything he had (13:14). (See also 2 Samuel 6:11.) The Ark of the Covenant was housed for a time with him and brought great blessing. This passage highlights that Obed-Edom was given the blessing of sons. May God give to each one of us such a blessing i.e. that we give birth to spiritual children; that we bring people to know Jesus and  are then able to raise them as our sons (and daughters) in God. If we are conscious of being ‘barren’ (as many Old Testament characters were) let’s bring the matter to the Lord and trust Him for fertility. Furthermore, how marvellous it would be if we were to have spiritual children (and children’s children even) who become leaders (6a) and who can be described as very capable (6b), capable (8) and able (7b, 9). We leaders have a responsibility to raise up sons and successors who are strong in the Lord (8b; see Eph.6:10); indeed, successors who are sons.

The gatekeepers carried out two essential functions:

  1. They guarded the treasures stored inside the temple.
  2.  They kept ritually unclean or otherwise disqualified people from entering the temple area. (Unlawful entry into the temple could result in death: see, for example, Numbers 1:50-53).

In all that they did I see:

a.)    Once again, as in recent studies, prayerfulness. Look at all the references to casting lots in (13-16). As they served in the tremendous work of the temple, they wanted the Lord to place them wherever He willed. Their eyes were on Him. They wanted God to position and station them. There was a desire to know and do God’s will.

b.)    There was also fellowship/partnership. Look at the expression at the end of (16): Guard was alongside guard. This was too big a job for any one person to do alone. There was a sharing in it together.

In the church today there are treasures to be guarded. I think especially of the priceless jewel of sound Biblical doctrine. There are many (with the deceiver and his hordes behind them) who want to steal this away. We must guard the truth with our lives

Although we cannot physically stop anyone from attending church services, (and we are no man’s judge), we have to guard the membership roll of the church, and the church’s ministry, from people who are unconverted and living ungodly lives. We cannot afford to let people think they are in the church when they are not. As far as we can we must protect the ministry of the church from people who are unregenerate. It is necessary that strict supervision should be exercised over those who unite with the visible Church, lest her holiness become diluted, and her fences broken down. Nothing is more important than the function of doorkeeping for the Church’s purity. F.B. Meyer: Great verses through the Bible, p.148. (He also adds the insight that we need to guard the gates to our hearts so that no alien thoughts should intrude. Watch what gains admittance to the temple of your body.Although in a sense all Christians are gatekeepers, local church leaders have a particular responsibility in this area. Pray for them. It can be an onerous task.

Daily Bible thoughts 352: Tuesday 7th May 2013: 1 Chronicles 25

Musicians are important to the church. A whole chapter is devoted to them here. There are certain principles which, I believe, carry over from the Old Testament church to the New Testament expression.

  1. It is important that we give God our best (7): Not every musician will be ‘Grade 8’ standard or above. Also, some churches are likely to have more talented musicians than others. But it is important that whatever musical abilities we are able to devote to God, we should give Him our very best, and even seek to improve. An ‘It’ll do’ attitude simply will not do!
  2. A variety of instruments can be used in church worship (1, 3, 6): At some time or other, most instruments have probably been labelled as ‘unspiritual’ by someone, from drums through to the organ (would you believe?!!) Now let’s be honest, when it comes to music, it’s very much the case that ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison.’ It’s a highly emotive topic. But it seems to me, as I read the Bible, that any instrument can be used to glorify God. Let’s beware of labelling something as ‘of the devil’ just because we don’t like its sound. To my mind, one of the delights of contemporary church life is to hear a variety of instruments being played well in the worship of God. What we have to beware of, however, is that we don’t come to worship ‘worship’ (or, more to the point, our preferred musical style/even our favourite worship leaders.) Let everything truly be done to the glory of God. (By the way, note that there is a Biblical link, seen at times, between music and prophecy: verses 1 and 3. It seems that Spirit-inspired music can trigger ‘words’ from the Lord in human spirits.)
  3. There is a place for order and accountability in music ministry (2, 3, 6 and 7): Look at all the references to being …under…supervision… How terrible it would be if everyone did what was right in their own eyes. Let music teams be led by those who are able to lead. Let musicians be willing to learn from their leaders, and follow guidance and instructions. Let worship group leaders and music teams gladly come under the authority of the local church leadership. They are not there to ‘take over the show’. They are not there for egotistical reasons at all. They are there to glorify God and to serve the church. Whoever we are, and whatever our role in church life, we all need to be in a place of submission to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). (Speaking about verse 6, F.B.Meyer writes: Be careful also that your own hearts and lives are full of praise and prayer; what you are, the children will become. Great verses through the Bible, p.147. )
  4. Music ministry is to be approached prayerfully (8): Again, as on a previous occasion, I see in the reference to casting lots the principle of committing everything into God’s Hands and looking to Him for guidance.

On a different note entirely note, what a delightful truth we find in (5). Hold on tight to those things God quickens to your Spirit from His Word. In due time they will come to pass and you will be abundantly blessed.

Prayer: Lord I thank you for your wonderful gift of music. Thank you for the many times my own heart has been moved and stirred by good music. I ask that every musician in your church will recognise their privilege and responsibility. Let them always give you the very best and aim at all times to lift up your Name and not their talent. Indeed, whatever our gifts, may such be our attitude. To God be all the glory

Daily Bible thoughts 351: Monday 6th May 2013: 1 Chronicles 24

Chapter 23 dealt with the Levites, and it is worthy of note that the final list of Levites, found in 24:20-31, corresponds to 23:12-23, but takes it one generation further.

However, the first twenty verses of this chapter are about the priests, and Chronicles distinguishes the duties of the priests from those of the rest of the tribe of Levi.


a.)    The organisation of the priests (19a; 3, 4): Not for the first time in Chronicles there is an emphasis on good organisation. There is nothing inherently unspiritual about this. Nor is there anything necessarily commendable about chaos. Why should we think that there is virtue in the ramshackle? But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. (1 Cor. 14:40).

b.)    The prayerful organisation of the priests (5): I see this point in the drawing of lots. That put the whole matter back into the Hands of God. It was a key way in which the people looked for guidance in Old Testament times. In the church we don’t simply want organisation for organisation’s sake. What we do need, however, is organisation that is thought through and prayed through; or prayerfully thought though. Administration is a gift of the Holy Spirit; so too is leadership (1 Cor.12:28, Rom.12:8). We need these functions to be steeped in prayer and then they will be effective.

c.)    The Biblical organisation of the priests (19b): This organisation that was thorough and clear, where everyone knew their place and got on with their job, was fundamentally about obedience to God’s Word. The church is not to be controlled by strong and gifted men. It is to be ruled by God through His Word and Spirit. The closer we human leaders stick to the Bible, and the more prayerful we are, the more likely it is that the organisation of the church will be anointed and will glorify God. After all, any organisation in the church is simply meant to be a helpful structure; scaffolding for getting God’s will done on earth.

d.)    The Holiness of the priests (2): This verse reminds us of the death of Nadab and Abihu. We are not told why they died. That would have been common knowledge. The story of their death is found in Lev. 10:1, 2. These two men stand as a warning to all Christian leaders not to get careless about obedience. We are not given moral exemptions because of our roles in the church. We must not think that we can play with sin any more than anyone else can. Our calling is to stay within the boundary ropes of God’s Word both in our living and our teaching. Those who cross the border line put themselves and others at risk.

3rd May 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 350

2nd May 2013 –  Daily Bible thoughts 349

1st May 2013 –  Daily Bible thoughts 348

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