“I love the Lord” [Psalm 116:1].

     Tried, tested, afflicted, buffeted by many a foe, having stared death in the face, yet the Psalmist can still cry, “I love the Lord.”

     The apostle Peter could say, “ Thou knowest that I love thee.” [John 21:17] Every believer can also say what Peter said.  We may mourn that our love is far short of what it should be, far less than what the perfections of our God deserve. Nevertheless, we confess we love Him.

     To a believer, his religion is not a matter of form, a necessity to quell the demands of conscience, a burden begrudgingly borne, or a duty to be reluctantly performed.  That is the religion of a man who does not truly know God as his redeemer in Christ.

     The mark of every true believer is that he loves the Lord: “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha” [1 Corinthians. 16:22].  Whatever a man says or does, is all in vain if he does not love the Lord [ See 1 Corinthians 13].

     We love the Lord for many reasons.  The more we see His glorious perfections the more we love Him.  Love for the Lord will express itself in more than words.  The man who can honestly make our text his personal testimony will go on to say with the Psalmist, “Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live” [Psalm 116:2].   To love the Lord leads us into praise and prayer.  [‘Through the Yearwith Dr. Alan Cairns].


“The Lord will be the hope of His people” [Joel 3:16. Margin]

     The marginal rendering for “Hope” is “place of repair.”  Transportation in modern society is mostly by automobiles.  While today’s cars are generally very good they are not immune to problems, and may need occasional visits to the garage for repairs.

     This text has considerable help and encouragement for God’s people.  Like the broken car we are not perfect, and sometimes suffer from infirmities and need repairs.  It is then we discover that the Lord is ‘the place of repair of His people.”

     Sometimes, the car is damaged by a careless driver, and needs the dents hammered out.  Likewise when we get beat about by the devil we turn to the Lord’s repair shop and He hammers the dents out of us by His Word [Jeremiah 23:29].

     If the engine is not pulling properly a visit to God’s garage will usually put things right.  We must confess the problem to the mechanic who will personally tune up the engine.  Tell the Lord about your weakness and He will be your strength [Joel 3:16].

     To operate at its best your car needs good oil.  To operate at our best spiritually we need the same treatment.  The Lord has told us “I shall be anointed with fresh oil”  [Psalm 92:10].

     Some auto garages are good and some are not so good, but Jesus runs the best repair shop in town.  He can take a poor person who has wrecked his or her life and make it new again.  Amazingly, such a restoration does not cost anything because, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”


     Neil Sampson is a horticulturist, who assists in the ministry of Fredericton Free Presbyterian Church, New Brunswick.  He has just published his second book. It is a collection of stories inspired by the people, the homesteads, the ecologies, and the landscapes of the Nashwaak River valley, where Neil says, “it is impossible to walk with the dogs and not think.”

     But these chapters hold more than narratives.  They contain seeds of thought and meditation.  Neil invites us to join him on an interesting literary hike.  The book contains 123 pages and can be sourced from the author at info@westminsterbooks.com


“Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

     Peter warns Christians [1 Peter 5:8] to beware of their great enemy, the devil, whom he describes as “a roaring lion.”  As such he is strong, will stalk God’s people, and scatter them to the four winds.  He would also slay them if he could.

     But there is a far greater and stronger lion than he, the Lord Jesus Christ. In every tribe of lions there is also one dominant male, He is “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah” [Revelation 5:5]. There is no power on earth, or in heaven, that can defeat the power of the “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” [Revelation 19:16].

     For all his wicked bluster, the devil is a soundly whipped and defeated foe.