Watching Daily At Wisdom's Gates

A Yorkshireman's take on life, death, and eternity

Category: Uncategorized

Verse of the day: Neighbour

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
Luke 10:29 ESV

Jesus goes on to tell the story of the “Good Samaritan”. The moral of the story is that anyone to whom we can show mercy is our neighbour…

Verse of the day: Identity

Now it happened that as [Jesus] was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
Luke 9:18 ESV

Read on in context to find out the correct answer to this most important of questions…

Verse of the day: Sheep

Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
Psalms 44:22 ESV

My family don’t want me writing for public consumption at the moment, hypocrite that I am, so out of respect for them I’m pausing publishing my daily devotionals and will simply share the verse I write from each day.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I start writing down one or two cheeky comments, and eventually just going back to normal!

But for now, suffice to say this verse is about persecution. Suffice to say that in Christ we’re more than conquerors!

The Last Post (for now)

Sorry for the abrupt pause. But people who actually know me for the hypocrite that I am have encouraged me to stop writing until I “practice what I preach”. Knowing that I’ll always be a sinner this side of eternity, I can’t foresee myself ever being able to write according to that criteria but there we are, I’ll just write for myself for now.


For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Psalms 43:2 ESV

If we take refuge in God, we might assume He has accepted us. But for the Psalmist, it felt like God had rejected Him. We might assume not to have problems if we take refuge in God, but we’ll always have trouble in this world.

If that is the case, what’s the point taking refuge in God? Well as Jesus said, “in this world you will have trouble, but be encouraged, I have overcome the world”. God doesn’t promise us a life free of trouble in this world, but He does promise that in Christ we will overcome.

The Psalmist was going about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy. God might have been his refuge, but his enemies were still lurking outside, longing to devour him. He needed to look to God within rather than his enemies without.

I’m reminded of the story of the besieged Israelite city. The prophet’s servant despaired, but the prophet saw with eyes of faith chariots of fire: an angelic army. Truly, if God is for us, who can be against us.

“Dear God, please help us to take refuge in You even if we don’t feel safe and confident. Help us to trust that in You we have the victory. In Jesus’ name, amen”


Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation
Psalms 42:5 ESV

As my old pastor used to say, “it’s not talking to yourself that’s a sign of madness, it’s *not* talking to yourself!” If we talk to ourselves we can reason with ourselves and help ourselves to make good decisions. That’s what the Psalmist does in this verse.

If we’re feeling depressed, we don’t need to just accept it lying down. We need to challenge our depressive thoughts. We need to question why we feel like we do.

The Psalmist’s solution is to hope in God. If we hope in anything other than God, we’re going to be disappointed. But God will never let us down.

The Psalmist had faith that even if he didn’t feel like it right now, he would yet praise God one day. He might not have felt like it, but he knew that God was his salvation. May we all have that assurance in the darkest of times!

“O my God, I pray that You would help me to hope and trust in You as my salvation, even in the darkest of times. In Jesus’ merciful name, amen”

Valentine’s Day: In Praise of Love

‘”Love never fails” … so if it fails, it wasn’t love.’

I’ve failed my wife many times, but her love has never failed me yet. She is altogether lovely to me.

Her faithfulness to me may not be glamorous. It may not be comprehensible. It may not seem impressive.

But I am humbled by her love for me which remains faithful even when I am faithless.

She inspires me to praise the Lord, because in her love I see a reflection of the love of God, who loves us despite who we are.

In praising love I’m not praising Eros/Cupid. I’m praising the God who loved me and gave His Son for me so that I don’t have to perish but have eternal life.

To Him be the glory, both now and forevermore, amen.


And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him.

Luke 5:13 ESV

Leprosy was the corona virus of its day. Lepers had to live in colonies away from the rest of society. But when one leper heard that Jesus was around, he broke with protocol and rushed to see Him.

He fell on his face before Jesus and begged Him. “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean”. He knew that it would take a divine miracle to cleanse him, but he knew he’d come to the right place.

I love how the leper didn’t assume he had a divine right to be healed. It’s not so much about whether we have faith as whether the Lord is willing to heal us. Thankfully, in this case, the Lord was willing.

Jesus stretching out His hand to touch the leper was as controversial then as someone touching a victim of the corona virus. But touching the ill doesn’t make Jesus unwell, it makes the unwell well. We all naturally have spiritual leprosy and need Jesus to wash us clean in His blood.

“Lord, we praise You for the cleansing and healing that is found in Your blood. We pray that You would be willing to heal us of our sin-sickness, in Jesus’ name, amen”


Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!
Psalms 40:4 ESV

Blessedness is simply spiritually inspired happiness. I’ve only ever had people point out my evident happiness out of the blue twice, and each time to be honest I’ve failed to give a clear witness. Just yesterday a customer said, “do you just love life?” to which I replied “I do to be honest, I’ve a lot to be thankful for… grateful for… every good gift”.

Our joy in the Lord should be evident to all. But if we don’t explain that the Lord is our joy, how can people enter into it? The Lord is trustworthy, and He inspires joyful confidence in life.

With the wonders of modern technology, it’s so easy to turn to the proud. Proud people are beamed into our homes through our TVs, computers and phones. We could always be more discerning with what we watch.

There’s plenty of lies out there, as well as pride nowadays. We live in days of fake news, “alternative facts” and post truth. Jesus Himself is the Truth and the only firm foundation for our lives.

“Dear Lord, we want to thank You for the joy You give us. Please help us to proclaim Your goodness to the world, until You call us home. For the honour of Your name, amen”


Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather! “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
Psalms 39:6‭-‬7 ESV

A shadow isn’t the most flattering picture of humanity, but it is sadly accurate. After all, we are mere mortals, and when the sunshine of life sets, our shadows disappear. We need God to teach us to number our days aright.

There’s no point getting worked up about this life. It’s only a season and will be over before we know it. We don’t need to be in turmoil over the things of this passing world.

There’s no point living to gather money for ourselves. After all, who’s it for once we’re gone? Best to use it to store up treasures in heaven, and to invest in the kingdom of God!

We’re not to wait for the next paycheck, or for present storms of life to pass over. We’re to wait for the Lord. He is the one in whom hope is assured. Let’s trust in Him to take us through the storms of life and into eternity.

“Heavenly Father, please help us not to trust money or anything else other than You. May You be our one unassailable hope, until You call us home. For Your glory, amen”