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In our own homes: In our troubled times – let us praise the Lord and pray to Him.

‘I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the House of the Lord”’ (Psalm 122:2). Why, Lord, do we go to Your House? We go ‘to give thanks to the Name of the Lord’ (Psalm 122:4). We seek Your mercy for our past sins: ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us!’ …

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Trusting In Christ’s Love, We Learn To Love.

The Pharisees lived by law. Jesus lived by love. The law of God, ‘holy and just and good’ (Romans 7:12), had been distorted by the religious hypocrites. They were saying, ‘love your neighbour and hate your enemy’ (Matthew 5:43). ‘Love your neighbour’ is found in Leviticus 19:18. ‘Hate your enemy’ is not found in the …

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Lord, there is such a difference between those who wait on You for Your strength and those who rush ahead in their own strength!

‘Listen, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie’ (Jeremiah 28:15). Lord, there is such a difference between those who wait on You for Your strength and those who rush ahead in their own strength! Your Word warns us against trying to serve You in our …

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Less pride, more humility – and more of the grace of God

Ezekiel 38:1-39:29; James 4:1-17; Proverbs 28:7-17 God’s Word speaks of His judgment upon sin (Ezekiel 39:23-24). It also speaks of His great salvation from sin (Ezekiel 39:25-29). “Scripture says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6). God’s Word speaks of the choice placed before man - obedience or disobedience, blessing or …

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Lord, Your Word challenge us to think seriously about ourselves.

Jeremiah 13:1-27 ‘These wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them will be… completely useless’ (Jeremiah 13:10). Lord, Your Word challenges us to think seriously about ourselves: Am I on the way to becoming ‘completely useless’? Each …

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Christian Doctrine and Christian Experience

Describing Berkouwer's theological method, L B Smedes writes, 'The truth of the Gospel ... is known and understood only within the total context of both revelation and the obedience of faith. Theology, whose task is to restate that truth, is determined in its methods and limited in its conclusions by the nature of the Gospel as …

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Now I belong to Jesus – not for the years of time alone, but for eternity.

"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16:11). This verse means a lot to me. It was given to me at the time when I set out on a life of ministry. It tells us that …

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Declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.

Ezekiel 43:1-44:31; 1 Peter 2:4-24; Psalm 132:1-18 In Ezekiel, the priests are described in great detail. In 1 Peter 2:5, the Lord’s people are described as “a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” This description continues in 1 Peter 2:9 – “a royal priesthood … a people belonging to God. …

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A Human Problem That Needs, And Has, A Divine Solutiond

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure" (Jeremiah 17:9). What did Jeremiah mean when he said this? The words of the Rev Eric Alexander sum up Jeremiah's point very well: "The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart." When we read Jeremiah's words on their own, we …

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To Understand History, We Need Revelation.

Warning against "the danger of going outside the sphere of faith into the area of observation", G. C. Berkouwer disputes the legitimacy of interpreting the ways of Providence on the basis of facts" (The Providence of God, pp. 164-165). He aims to guard against the possibility that "everyone according to his own prejudice and subjective …

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The wilderness – a place of testing – with the promise of better things to come (Deuteronomy 8-10)

Deuteronomy 8:1-9:21 -  The ‘wilderness’ was a place of ‘testing’.  God was ‘disciplining’ His people.  He was teaching them to ‘walk in His ways’ (2,5-6).  In the ‘wilderness’, we must remember this: ‘man does not live by bread alone… man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord’ (3).  Everything that proceeds …

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Matthew 6:19-34 – Living for Christ is very different from worldly living.

On the one side of Christ's disciples, there are the hypocrites. On the other side, there are 'the Gentiles' (32). The hypocrites represent religion without reality. The Gentiles represent the world, living for material things only, refusing to take spiritual realities seriously. We are to be different from both the hypocrites and the Gentiles. Our …

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God’s Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.

Daniel 5:17-6:28; 1 John 1:1-2:11; Psalm 136:1-12 “For He is the living God and He endures for ever; His Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end” (Daniel 6:26). “His love endures for ever” (Psalm 136). God is the God of love. His Kingdom is the Kingdom of love. God is eternal. His …

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All glory to the Lord – the God of eternal love, the God of our eternal salvation.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight" (Ephesians 1:3-4). We sing praise to the Lord. He has blessed us so much - …

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Athanasius on the Atonement

Are there two unreconciled theories of the atonement in Athanasius? Do the writings of Athanasius contain two theories of the atonement - a ‘physical’ theory which teaches that, through Christ’s assumption of humanity, mankind is clothed in the incorruption and indestructibility that is inherent in Christ the Word and a ‘legal’ theory which maintains that …

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G C Berkouwer on “Faith and Sanctification”

Publisher's Review Faith and Sanctification is the first volume to appear in the First American Edition of a series of monographs covering the whole field of Christian theology. This major contribution to the current literature of theology, destined to exert its influence within the main current of American religious thought, it the work of Prof. G. …

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When the Lord spoke to me, I was strengthened.

Daniel 9:20-11:1; 1 John 3:11-4:6; Psalm 137:1-9 “When He spoke to me, I was strengthened” (Daniel 10:19). The strength we receive from the Lord is a greater strength than the temptations we face – “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). To know …

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They will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 28:1-29:21; Hebrews 12:14-29; Psalm 126:1-6 Many times over, in these chapters of Ezekiel, the words are repeated, “They will know that I am the Lord.” We must view the events of history in relation to God. He is fulfilling His purpose. He is demonstrating that He is the Lord. The demonstration of His Lordship …

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God hasn’t stopped speaking to us through His Word – but have we stopped listening to Him?

Some people say, “Surely, you don’t believe the Bible.” They say that the Bible belongs to the past. It’s not for us today. This kind of talk takes us right back to the Garden of Eden – “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1).  The Bible says that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God?” …

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Help us, Lord, to see the light at the end of the tunnel – “the salvation of our souls.”

Proverbs 13:1-11 “The light of the righteous rejoices” (Proverbs 13:9). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Light. He’s “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). In Him, we rejoice (Romans 5:11 – “the blood Of Jesus, Your Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We thank You that, through Jesus, You …

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Let us love another – and show the love of God to one another.

Lamentations 2:7-3:39; Philemon 1-25; Psalm 119:121-128 At the heart of the book of Lamentations, there is this great declaration concerning the love of God: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed” (Lamentations 3:22). His love reaches us not only directly but also through the love of His people - “Your love, dear …

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God’s love endures for ever.

Daniel 7:1-8:14; 1 John 2:12-27; Psalm 136:13-26 Daniel 7:13-14 looks forward, prophetically, to the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the future towards which history is moving, the future towards which God is working, the future of the Kingdom of God. This world is passing away, “but the man who does the …

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‘Jesus Christ’ died ‘for our sins’ – This is Good News.

1 John 1:1-2:17 - ‘Jesus Christ’ died ‘for our sins’. This is Good News. It is not to be kept to ourselves - He died ‘for the sins of the whole world’. We have ‘fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ’. ‘We have fellowship with one another’. These blessings are not to …

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