A journey with Christ

(1) Christ's Journey Through History Before we even reach the opening chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, the Old Testament proclaims this message of hope: Christ is coming. The journey through the Old Testament  paves the way for the coming of Christ. The first 17 verses of Matthew’s Gospel gives us a brief outline of Old Testament history …

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Filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:8-9). Filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy: we're …

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Thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus – and the great victory over Satan that He has won for us.

We read, Lord, about “the king of Babylon” (Isaiah 14:4) – and we see Satan. He is full of pride – “I will climb to the highest heaven and be like the Most High.” He is fallen – “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer.” He will be brought to nothing – “you will …

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Our chief focus of attention is to be on the Lord.

"After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses’ assistant: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the River Jordan into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you …

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Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

Leviticus 21:1-22:33; Mark 15:1-32; Psalm 31:19-24 An offering of sacrifice to the Lord “must be without defect pr blemish to be acceptable” (Leviticus 22:21). In Mark 15:15, we have the great statement concerning the sinless Son of God taking the sinner’s place – “Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged and handed Him …

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Salvation – the removal of sin and the restoration of glory

Zechariah 1:1-4:14; 3 John 1-14; Psalm 139:11-16  The removal of sin (Zechariah 3:4,9) and the restoration of glory: Here, we have a great description of salvation, wiping out the sin of the past, giving an anticipatory glimpse of the glory to come. The past is forgiven. The future is promised. What about the present – …

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Think about the goodness of God, and say, “Thank you, Lord.”

"I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me" (Psalm 13:5-6). God's love never fails. This is where our joy comes from. This is what fills our hearts with praise to the Lord. Think back over your life. Think of the …

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Do you ever feel like turning back from following Jesus?

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?”  Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One …

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Beginning with Esther – and moving on to Jesus

"Who knows, perhaps you (Esther) have come to the kingdom for such a time as this ... If I (Esther) perish, I perish" (Esther 4:14,16). When I read the words, "For such a time as this", I found myself thinking of the words of Galatians 4:4 - "When the time had fully come God sent …

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How can we become more on fire for the Lord?

His word is in my heart like a fire (Jeremiah 20:9). What is it that keeps the fire burning? It's the power that comes from God. It's the power of the Holy Spirit. He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11). You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and …

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We come to the Lord’s House.

Second Sunday of Advent: Malachi 3:1-4; Psalm 27 (or Luke 1:68-79); Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6 We come to the Lord’s House so that we might offer our heartfelt worship to the Lord.‘One thing have I asked of the Lord…that I may dwell in the House of the Lord…’ (Psalm 27:4). What are we doing when …

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Let’s thank God for His love – and let’s live to please Him!

‘Praise the Lord’(Psalm 103:1-2,20-22). Let’s praise Him for His ‘steadfast love’. He is ‘abounding in steadfast love’(Psalm 103:8). How are we to respond to His ‘steadfast love’? Are we to say, ‘God loves me. I can do what I like’? No! We must not think like this. We’re not to say, ‘I’ll keep on sinning. …

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Help us, Lord, to “be still and know that You are our God.” Help us to “shout for joy to You.”

“If you have sinned” (Job 35:6). Help us, Lord, to think about Job, about Jesus, and about ourselves. “Job feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). Job wasn’t being singled out for special punishment, because he was much more sinful than anyone else – but this doesn’t mean that he had never sinned (Job 7:21; …

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Called and equipped – to become more like Jesus

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let …

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More questions than answers

"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will …

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Loved with an everlasting love, we are God’s treasured possession (prayers based on the book of Malachi)

Malachi 1:1-2:17 Lord, You look upon us in our sin. What do You see? You see ‘the Wicked Land. You see ‘a people always under the wrath of the Lord’ (Malachi 1:4). You look at what Christ has done for us - ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’; ‘While we were still …

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Notice what comes first, and what comes second.

"See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you" (Deuteronomy 1:21). Notice what comes first - "the Lord your God has given you the land", and what comes second - "Go up and take possession of it." By grace, God …

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Saved and kept by the Lord… for the great triumph

“Wait for the Lord, and He will save you... The Lord is the One who directs a person’s steps” (Proverbs 20:22,24). The Lord saves and keeps: “The victory belongs to the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31). Saving and keeping us, as He leads along the pathway of discipleship, the Lord brings us to our final victory. This …

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Jesus – what a great Saviour he is!

"But I have been the Lord your God ever since you came out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Saviour except me" (Hosea 13:4). Here, God is saying to the people, "Here's something you must never forget. I brought you out of Egypt the land of bondage." He's saying to them, "Never forget how much …

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The grace of God reaches us and changes us.

"I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy" (Leviticus 11:45). Where does holiness come from? How are we to become holy? Before we read about God's holiness, we read about his love. God says, "I am holy" - but, first, he says, "I ... …

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As Paul travelled from place to place, the good news of Christ’s love was reaching more and more people.

Acts 20-22 As we read about Paul, travelling from place to place, we come to appreciate the geographical breadth of his ministry. In chapter 22, we see the spiritual depth of his ministry. This spiritual depth arises out of his real, life-changing experience of the salvation which had come to him through the Lord Jesus …

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Second Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8

Second Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8 Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. ‘The Lord is the everlasting God... He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak... those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength...’ (Isaiah 40:28-31). …

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The Lord’s love speaks of His keeping power. He will complete the work He has begun.

Deuteronomy 7:1-26 Enter, Destroy, Possess (1-2). Don't try to jump straight from entering to possessing. Don't forget to destroy. We enter the Christian life through faith in Christ. We will not 'take possession of' a fuller enjoyment of His salvation if we refuse to 'destroy' the obstacles to His blessing in our lives. Sin is …

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Statement of Christian Faith (4): We believe in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is love.

We believe in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is love (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17). Here, we consider the teaching of the Scriptures concerning God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As we consider this deep message, we must allow God Himself to draw near, in love, …

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The joy of the Lord – and the strength of the Lord

"The joy of the Lord is your strength. Your strength comes from rejoicing in the Lord" (Nehemiah 8:10). Nehemiah was working for the Lord - and he was, also, rejoicing in the Lord. The joy of the Lord - this was where Nehemiah's strength came from. the joy of the Lord - this is where …

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Revised Common Lectionary – Year B: First Sunday of Advent – Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

Revised Common Lectionary Year B - First Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 Jesus Christ is God’s Answer to our prayer. We confess our sins to God - ‘We sinned... All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy …

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Obedience to God arise out of knowing that we are loved by Him.

Numbers 1:1-2:9; Luke 1:26-38; Psalm 33:12-22 “The Israelites did all this just as the Lord commanded Moses” (Numbers 1:54). “‘I am the Lord’s servant’, Mary answered, ‘May it be to me as You have said’” (Luke 1:38). Obedience to the Lord’s Word – this is emphasized throughout Scripture: “the eyes of the Lord are on …

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In our worship, let us never forget the holiness of God and let us always rejoice in the love of God.

‘Exalt the Lord our God... Make a joyful noise to the Lord’(Psalm 99:5,9; Psalm 98:4,6; Psalm 100:1). We are to worship the Lord with joy. We are to glorify God. We are to enjoy Him. In our worship, we must never forget the holiness of God: ‘He is holy!... The Lord our God is holy!’(Psalm …

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God Remembers Us ‘According To The Greatness Of His Steadfast Love.’

Nehemiah 10:1-39 God is calling us to commit our lives to Him. At the heart of our commitment to the Lord, there must be worship: ‘We will not neglect the House of our God’(39). ‘Worship God’(Revelation 19:10). This is our reason for coming to the Lord’s House. We come to worship Him. Our worship is …

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Statement of Christian Faith (3): We believe in one God (Part Three)

We believe in one God (1 Kings 18:17-40; Acts 17:16-34) In the Old Testament, there is a continuing conflict between the one true God and the false gods. It is the contrast between the living God and the dead gods, worshipped by idolaters. * We see this situation of conflict in the days of Moses. …

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When we’re left thinking, “I didn’t see that coming!”

This is what the Lord says, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go" (Isaiah 48:17). Have you ever wished you could look into the future and see what the future holds for you? We all know that we can't do this. …

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Give to us, Lord, the wisdom that is centred on Christ.

“The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). Give to us, Lord, the wisdom that is centred on Christ, the wisdom that receives “salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”, the wisdom that leads us to become “mature in Christ”, the wisdom that is Christlike, the wisdom …

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Let’s take our problems to the Lord.

Proverbs 5:1-14 Being married: There are many temptations - the 'loose woman' (3-6). Be positive: Through 'mutual love and respect', let's build 'strong and happy' marriages, in which 'the marriage bond is honoured'. Singles: Don't spoil everything by getting entangled with those who are 'loose' in their commitment to believing in and living for Jesus …

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Let us give thanks to our Saviour. Let us thank him for his great salvation.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). The crowds were "harassed and helpless." They were "like sheep without a shepherd." They were sinners without a Saviour/ Jesus, the Saviour, came to them. They came to him. He brought salvation to …

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Statement of Christian Faith (2): We believe in one God (Part Two)

We believe in one God (Romans 5:1-11; Romans 10:9-13; Romans 15:7-13). The Statement is made up of five sections: (i) We believe in one God; (ii) We praise God the Father; (iii) We proclaim (or confess) Jesus Christ, God the Son; (iv) We trust God the Holy Spirit; (v) We rejoice in the gift of …

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Full of joy through the Holy Spirit, let us boast in the Lord.

At that time, Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do" (Luke 10:21). Here we see "Jesus, full of …

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Lord, the things that are most important to us are not always the things that are most important to You.

Lord, the things that are most important to us are not always the things that are most important to You. Jesus, Your Son, tells us that eternal profit is more important than personal profit. He says to us, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” (Mark …

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From strength to strength, from faith to faith, from glory to glory

"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1). By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are led from strength to strengh, from faith to faith, and from glory to glory. (1) From strength to strength The phrase, "from strength to strength" is taken from the hymn, "Soldiers of …

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