Have you heard the good news?


No matter where you are, no matter where you’ve been, no matter what you’ve done there is hope! There is an answer! There is way when there doesn’t seem to be a way! There is a plan to give you a hope and a future! There is a plan that you can have a life and a life to the full! There is a plan that you can be saved! Will you choose to receive it? Will you choose to grab hold of it? Will you choose to seek it? The choice it yours! It’s a matter of the heart!

The answer is Jesus!

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. –from John 3

When we receive the gift of Jesus, we are saved!

if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  — from Romans 10:9

Everyday there are people wandering by you. Everyday there are people searching for answers. Everyday there are people feeling hopeless. Everyday there are people looking for hope. Will you be someone who shows them that there is a way? Will you be the one who let’s them know there is a savior? Will you be the one who points them to Jesus? Will you be a vessel used by God to speak hope and life to them in a way they can receive right where they are at?


You Have a Saviour — Day 77: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalm 35:1-10, Luke 2:21-40, Numbers 7:1-65

1. Call out to God your Saviour … Psalm 35:1-10

1Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. 2Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid. 3Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to me, “I am your salvation.” 4May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame; may those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay. 5May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away; 6may their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them. 7Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me, 8may ruin overtake them by surprise—may the net they hid entangle them, may they fall into the pit, to their ruin. 9Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in his salvation. 10My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you, Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.” 

–from Psalm 35

Are you there yet? Will you call out to God? Will you ask Him to help? Will you invite Jesus into your heart?

Today’s devotional speaks to today’s reading as follows…

At any time, you can call out to God for help.

Life is a battle. If we fly God’s flag, there are bound to be those who will be out to get us. David prays that God would contend with those who contend against him (v.1a).

He prays, ‘Fight against those who fight against me… arise and come to my aid… Say to me, “I am your salvation”’ (vv.1b–3). Or as The Message puts it, ‘Reassure me; let me hear you say, “I’ll save you.”’ (v.3, MSG).

When you are under attack it is easy to feel that it must be your fault. But twice David repeats that their desire to trap him is ‘without cause’ (v.7). Sometimes you may face opposition not because you are doing something wrong but because you are doing something right. David prays to God to rescue him: ‘then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in his salvation’ (v.9).

Your enemies may be stronger than you. David faced ‘hecklers’, ‘bullies’ and ‘thugs try[ing] to knife [him] in the back’ (vv.1,4, MSG). But God is the Saviour who rescues and ‘protects the unprotected’ (v.10b, MSG).

God’s ultimate rescue is the salvation that is in Jesus. I love the song written by Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan that celebrates this salvation. Let’s use these words as prayer and worship:

Saviour,

He can move the mountains,

My God is mighty to save,

He is mighty to save.

Forever,

Author of salvation,

He rose and conquered the grave,

Jesus conquered the grave.

Day 77: Bible In One Year 2017

2. Look to Jesus as your Saviour … Luke 2:21-40

21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Jesus Presented in the Temple
22When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. 38Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

–from Luke 2

Today’s devotional speaks to today’s reading as follows…

Jesus is the Saviour of the world. The angel had announced the birth of a ‘Saviour’ (2:11). In this passage we see how on the eighth day he was named ‘Jesus’ which means ‘the Lord saves’.

His parents take him to Jerusalem ‘to present him to the Lord’ and ‘to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord’ (vv.22–24). Jesus is the ultimate fulfilment of all the offerings and sacrifices we read about in the Old Testament.

  • Look to Jesus to receive peace

    Simeon takes Jesus in his arms and says to the Lord, ‘My eyes have seen your salvation’ (v.30). To see Jesus is to see salvation. Seeing Jesus gives Simeon ‘peace’ (v.29b).

  • Look to Jesus to see what God is like

    Jesus is a light that reveals God. He is ‘a light for revelation to the Gentiles’ (v.32a). It is impossible to know God unless he reveals himself to us. Yet God has done just that in Jesus. Jesus shows us what God is like. Jesus said, ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the father’ (John 14:9). Jesus fully reveals God for everyone.

  • Look to Jesus for grace and truth

    Jesus is a light who brings glory: ‘the glory of your people Israel’ (Luke 2:32b). The word ‘glory’ speaks of God’s excellence, beauty, greatness and perfection. God is glorious. Israel had glory because God had lived among them, first in the tabernacle in the desert (as written about in today’s Old Testament passage), and then in the temple in Jerusalem.

    With Jesus, Israel came to see God’s glory in its truest and fullest sense. As John writes of Jesus, ‘We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14b). Jesus brings glory to Israel and to us, because Jesus is God coming to live among us.

Tragically though, many people reject the revelation and glory of God that we see in Jesus. Simeon prophesies about this, ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed’ (Luke 2:34–35).

Being so closely associated with Jesus brings great blessing but also suffering. Maybe you have a family member, close friend, or someone else you really care about who is either antagonistic to Jesus or simply not interested. When we see people reject Jesus we get a tiny glimpse of what Mary must have experienced: ‘And a sword will pierce your own soul too’ (v.35).

This great suffering of Mary lay in the future. In the meantime, she had the joy of seeing Jesus growing up and becoming ‘strong’. ‘He was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him’ (v.40). ‘Wisdom’ and ‘grace’ are characteristics of the Saviour that we should seek to imitate in our own lives.

Lord, give me eyes like Simeon to see your salvation in the world today. Give me grace and wisdom today for all my decisions, meetings and conversations.

Day 77: Bible In One Year 2017

3. Worship the Saviour of the world … Numbers 7:1-65

1When Moses finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it and all its furnishings. He also anointed and consecrated the altar and all its utensils. 2Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of families who were the tribal leaders in charge of those who were counted, made offerings. 3They brought as their gifts before the Lord six covered carts and twelve oxen—an ox from each leader and a cart from every two. These they presented before the tabernacle.
4The Lord said to Moses, 5“Accept these from them, that they may be used in the work at the tent of meeting. Give them to the Levites as each man’s work requires.”
6So Moses took the carts and oxen and gave them to the Levites. 7He gave two carts and four oxen to the Gershonites, as their work required, 8and he gave four carts and eight oxen to the Merarites, as their work required. They were all under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest. 9But Moses did not give any to the Kohathites, because they were to carry on their shoulders the holy things, for which they were responsible.
10When the altar was anointed, the leaders brought their offerings for its dedication and presented them before the altar. 11For the Lord had said to Moses, “Each day one leader is to bring his offering for the dedication of the altar.”
12The one who brought his offering on the first day was Nahshon son of Amminadab of the tribe of Judah.
13His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 14one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 15one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 16one male goat for a sin offering; 17and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Nahshon son of Amminadab.
18On the second day Nethanel son of Zuar, the leader of Issachar, brought his offering.
19The offering he brought was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 20one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 21one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 22one male goat for a sin offering; 23and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Nethanel son of Zuar.
24On the third day, Eliab son of Helon, the leader of the people of Zebulun, brought his offering.
25His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 26one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 27one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 28one male goat for a sin offering; 29and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Eliab son of Helon.
30On the fourth day Elizur son of Shedeur, the leader of the people of Reuben, brought his offering.
31His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 32one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 33one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 34one male goat for a sin offering; 35and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Elizur son of Shedeur.
36On the fifth day Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, the leader of the people of Simeon, brought his offering.
37His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 38one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 39one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 40one male goat for a sin offering; 41and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.
42On the sixth day Eliasaph son of Deuel, the leader of the people of Gad, brought his offering.
43His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 44one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 45one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 46one male goat for a sin offering; 47and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Eliasaph son of Deuel.
48On the seventh day Elishama son of Ammihud, the leader of the people of Ephraim, brought his offering.
49His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 50one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 51one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 52one male goat for a sin offering; 53and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Elishama son of Ammihud.
54On the eighth day Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, the leader of the people of Manasseh, brought his offering.
55His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 56one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 57one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 58one male goat for a sin offering; 59and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.
60On the ninth day Abidan son of Gideoni, the leader of the people of Benjamin, brought his offering.
61His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with the finest flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 62one gold dish weighing ten shekels, filled with incense; 63one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old for a burnt offering; 64one male goat for a sin offering; 65and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Abidan son of Gideoni.

–from Numbers 7

Today’s devotional speaks to today’s reading as follows…

Many new parents have a deep sense that God has given them their baby, but it must have been even more so for Mary and Joseph that day in the temple as they gave back to God the miracle baby he had given them.

The birth of Jesus the Saviour was the most momentous event in history. Simeon takes Jesus in his arms and says, ‘For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations’ (Luke 2:30–31). Perhaps it is not surprising that the prophecies and preparations for the coming of Jesus were so extraordinarily detailed and elaborate.

In this section of the book of Numbers we discover how the Tabernacle service was inaugurated (Numbers 7:1 – 10:10). We read of each of the tribes making a voluntary offering. Each gave an equal share. They were given to God (through his servant Moses). The whole people of God were involved in the inauguration of the tabernacle.

At first this passage might seem like needless technicalities for the modern reader. Yet, the presentation of extravagant gifts to God in the Tabernacle (Numbers 7) is so beautifully mirrored by the presentation of Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:22). This Old Testament passage is not merely a bit of ancient accountancy.

The occasion for these extravagant gifts is the completion and dedication of the tabernacle. The tabernacle was the symbolic place of God’s presence with his people. The people give as a response to God’s grace and presence among them. Their gifts are an expression of worship and thanksgiving to the saviour.

At the same time though, these gifts are also part of the preparations for the final dedication of the tabernacle. They are making it fit for the presence of God. The elaborate preparations, the extravagance of the gifts, and the detail with which the writer records them, all point to what an amazing blessing it was for the Israelites to have the presence of God in their midst.

All the offerings and sacrifices in the Law of Moses were but preparation and a foreshadowing of the birth and death of the Saviour. The tabernacle pointed forward to something even greater. No longer does God dwell in a tent in our midst, he has come to live among us as one of us. Jesus is consecrated according to the Law, but he would go on to fulfil the Law’s very purpose (vv.22–24a): ‘When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord…’ (v.39a).

Many years later, Jesus the Saviour abolished the need for all the offerings and sacrifices of the Old Testament through the sacrifice of his body ‘once for all’ (see Hebrews 10:1–10).

No wonder that when Simeon realised the baby in his arms was the Saviour of the world, he ‘praised God’ (Luke 2:28). Anna likewise ‘gave thanks to God’ (v.38). Jesus the Saviour is the focus of all our praise and thanksgiving.

I love the words of another song, this one written by Ben Cantelon, which are an appropriate response in prayer and worship to everything we have read today about Jesus the Saviour:

For He made us a way, by which we have been saved,

He’s the Saviour of the world.

So we lift up a shout for his fame and renown,

Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord,

Jesus, Saviour of the world.

Day 77: Bible In One Year 2017

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