Tag: Rev Kenneth I Macleod

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy Chapter 6 verse 5

Israel at this point were standing at the borders of the Promised Land. Moses is preparing them for entry. The preparation has to be spiritual first of all, otherwise every effort is doomed to failure. Allegiance to the Lord has to be the number one priority-and that is the same for ourselves too. God requires that we love Him with all our heart. God requires to be on the throne of our heart. So, I want us to think a little about this love and how it manifests itself our lives.

God’s love is born into our heart the moment we are regenerated. The moment God, through His Spirit, touches our lives, breathing new life into us, something radical and life changing takes place. It is impossible for God to come into our life and for us not to know it. That doesn’t mean that a person who is converted, immediately has full assurance of faith and knows they are born again. Sometimes the experience may be long and drawn out from our perspective. However an interest and desire for God and the things of God has surfaced in our life. Prior to this there may have been thoughts of God, even good thoughts, but they were fleeting and temporary. Now the heart is genuinely seeking after God and desiring to know more of Him. A love has been born in our heart and that comes from God. The Bible tells us how it works. “We love Him because He first loved us.” That tiny statement is packed with deep eternal truths. The love we experience for God has come about only because of His love to us. What does God’s love mean and how does it work in our lives?

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9

Paul as we know wrote this letter from prison. It is not the kind of letter someone would expect to get from prison. This is a letter that is full of joy, hope, love and peace. Paul was so aware that his imprisonment was for the furtherance of the gospel, the good of the Philippian church, and of course in God’s great plan, for the good of the church down throughout the generations.

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“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law, that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success, wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua Chap 1:7-8

From a human point of view, Joshua had the unenviable task of taking over the leadership of Israel from Moses, the great man of God. I’m sure Joshua would have felt overwhelmed at the prospect, but God reminded Joshua in v2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise and go over this Jordan.” Moses is gone, but the work has to carry on. That is something we always have to remember. God uses many people; some more than others; but at the end of the day, no one is more than a servant. One day our service here will be over, but the work will carry on. I would imagine Joshua would have felt fearful, however the Lord comes and encourages Joshua and tells him to be strong, courageous and not to fear. Joshua is encouraged to be strong in v5-6 based upon God’s presence. We should also grasp hold of the fact, that we can count on the Lord’s presence all the time, as we seek to serve Him. God will enable us to inherit the land of Promise. He has given His Word on that, and He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. We too are having to fight our way to inherit our Promised Land. Along the way we face enemies within and without that are seeking to blow us off track, and even destroy us. It is a journey we could never hope to complete without the presence, grace, strength and help of God. As God gave Joshua the command we also see He gave a promise as well. Very often we will find in Scripture a promise accompanying a command.

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“Fight the good fight of the faith.” 1 Timothy Chapter 6v12

Paul had real admiration for the young Timothy. He saw great promise in him as a gospel worker. Paul had left Timothy in Ephesus, with the intention of coming back; so in the meantime he had written this letter to him, concerning issues that were arising in the church. This letter is dealing with false teachers who were troubling the church. In the letter Paul shows that true Christianity is evidenced by a lifestyle that is shaped by the gospel. Paul knew, just as we do, that the Christian life can often be a struggle, and so he encourages young Timothy with these words-“Fight the good fight of the faith.”

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Pastoral Reflection for Thursday, 7th May

A Reflection on Psalm 121

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved: He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper: the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and in from this time forth and forevermore.” Psalm 121

This is a psalm that is all about being Kept. I am sure that is something we all want for our lives-to be kept. Kept safe. Kept from danger. Kept from falling. Kept from hurt and harm. Kept from being lost. Kept from shame. Kept close to the Lord. We live in such a dangerous, deceptive and uncertain world. A world that is constantly threatening us spiritually, morally, physically, mentally at every turn; so the theme of being kept is really precious to us.

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Pastoral Reflection for Thursday, April 23rd

Part two of a two part series on the Lord's Prayer

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew Chap 6v10-13

Prayer is the most amazing privilege and blessing given to us. Jesus gave a short model of prayer to help us as we approach God. We looked at the first part of the prayer. We saw who it is we pray to-“Our Father”. Although His presence fills the whole earth, yet heaven is His home-“In Heaven”. We also saw the attitude and spirit of awe, respect and reverence we should have as we come into His presence-“Hallowed Be Your Name.” Finally we saw that before presenting our own personal requests, we must seek the extension and growth of God’s kingdom-“Your Kingdom Come.”

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Pastoral Reflection for Thursday, April 9th

Part 1 of a two part series reflecting on the Lord's Prayer.

“Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as is it is heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Matthew Chap 6v 9-13

Prayer is at the very centre of our Christian lives, and along with the reading of His Word, is the most wonderful privilege God has given to us. Jesus has a lot to say to us regarding prayer; both by example and exhortation. In Matthew Chapter 6, before He gives us a great example of prayer, in what has become known as the ‘Lord’s prayer’, He emphasises the importance of getting alone with God. Secret prayer should be part of our lives. Of course we should pray with others, but being alone with God in prayer is essential for our own spiritual health, and the good of the church and society at large. Private secret prayer is at the heart of what we become as Christians. Our spiritual growth is largely determined by the amount of time you spend alone with the Lord. All the great giants of faith in the Bible were men and women who spent a lot of time in the presence of the Lord. The expression, “You get like those you live with,” can equally be applied to our quiet times in the presence of the Lord. The more time we spend with Him the more like Him we become. When Moses spent a long period on top of the mountain alone with the Lord, His face shone so brightly when he returned that he had to cover his face with a veil when speaking to the Israelites.

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