Before the Ten Commandments

"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt" (Exodus 20:2). Before the Ten Commandments, there is this great declaration concerning God's salvation. This is something we must never forget. Our obedience is inspired by his salvation. The Lord has saved us. Let us live as people who are …

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Longing for the past, longing for the future

Sometimes, we wish we could turn the clock back. Sometimes, we wish we could see what's going to see what will happen to us in the future. These are two things that we cannot do. We cannot go back to the past, and we cannot see what the future holds for us. There are two …

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The Holy Spirit – living in our hearts

"On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy …

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Another ‘3:16’ to set alongside John 3:16!

John 3:16, Rev 3:16–20 lIn John 3:16, we read these wonderful words concerning God’s love: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Here’s another “3:16″ – “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about …

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What a difference there is between Jesus giving a sign and the Pharisees demanding a sign!

What a difference there is between Jesus giving a sign and the Pharisees demanding a sign! Miracles are given when the Lord decides - not when we demand: "If these people are given a sign, it will be far different from what they want!" (Mark 8:12). A blind man came to Jesus. His sight Was …

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Sometimes, Lord, we feel like we’re ‘hitting our head off a brick wall’.

‘Their ears are closed… The Word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it’ (Jeremiah 6:10). Sometimes, Lord, we feel like we’re ‘hitting our head off a brick wall’. So few people show any real interest in hearing and obeying Your Word. It seems like Your Word is ‘going in one ear and out …

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The Lord’s Prayer (8): Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen.

This is not about a human kingdom. It's not about human power. It's not about human glory. It's about the kingdom of God. It's about the power of God. It's about the glory of God. Human kingdoms rise, and they fall. Human power comes to an end. Human glory fades away. The kingdom of God …

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The Lord’s Prayer (7): Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Here, Jesus speaks to us about temptation. It is important that we understand what temptation is, and it is, also, important that we understand what temptation is not. Temptation comes to us from the evil one (also known as the devil or Satan). He's trying to draw us away from the Lord and make us …

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The Lord’s Prayer (6): Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

"Debts" make us think about bills that have to be paid. "Trespasses" make us think about breaking into private property. "Transgressions" make us think about breaking a law. What do "sins" make us think about? When we think about our sins, what do we think about? We think about God. Where do we stand in …

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The Lord’s Prayer (5): Give us this day our daily bread.

Our daily bread: Jesus is speaking to us about food for physical growth, and he's, also, speaking us about food for spiritual growth. When we have plenty of food to eat, we must never forget that "all good gifts around us are sent from heaven above." We must, also, remember that we need Jesus. He's …

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The Lord’s Prayer (4): Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus is teaching us to pray. He's teaching us to come to God with praise and thanksgiving. He's giving us encouraging hope for the future. How are we to respond to these things that Jesus is teaching us? We're to pray that our lives will be changed by what we hear from Jesus. We're to …

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The Lord bless you and keep you.

"Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven" (Psalm 32:1). The forgiveness of sins - this is such a great blessing. The forgiveness of sins: it's just the beginning of so much great blessing which will continue throughout our life on earth and for all eternity. "Create in me a clean heart, O God,    and renew a right spirit within …

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Blessing will only come to us when we give the glory to God.

The building of the Temple - It was “the Lord’s Temple” (2 Chronicles 3:1). It was being built “for the Lord’s Name” (2 Chronicles 2:1). The glory of the Lord - This must never be forgotten. There is nothing more important than this. God is to be glorified. This was the reason for the building …

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Arminius – Hero or Heretic?

This article was first published in Evangelical Quarterly 64:3 (1992): 213-227. --Some proclaim Arminius as a hero. Others denounce him as a heretic. It may, however, be more accurate to describe him as an enigma. Commenting on the enigmatic character of Arminius, Carl Bangs writes, "Some Calvinists, finding that his writings do not produce the …

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When God works in mighty power

Jonah 1:1-4:11; Romans 2:1-16; Psalm 85:1-7 In Nineveh, God works in mighty power. "Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry" (Jonah 3:10-4:1). To this proud attitude, God says, "You ... have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else" (Romans 2:1). He calls for a change of attitude: "Do you show contempt for the …

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The Holy Spirit Is Our ‘Guarantee Of Heavenly And Eternal Glory.’

2 Corinthians 4:1-5:10 God has called us to salvation - ‘God has shone in our hearts…’ (2 Corinthians 4:6). He has called us to service, ‘having this ministry by the mercy of God’ (2 Corinthians 4:1). We receive salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be …

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We need to be changed by the Lord.

Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45 We need to be changed by the Lord. It was ‘a valley of dry bones’ (Ezekiel 37:1-2). Then, the Lord changed everything - ‘I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live’ (Ezekiel 37:5). What a difference the Lord makes! ‘Breathe on me, Breath of …

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Turn away from the false gods and turn to the true God.

“When he saw Elijah, Ahab said, “Is that you, you troublemaker of Israel?”Elijah answered, “I haven’t troubled Israel. You and your father’s family have done it by disobeying the Lord’s commands and following the various Baal gods” (1 Kings 18:17-18).Was Elijah a troublemaker? Ahab thought so. Ahab didn’t like what Elijah had to say to him.He would …

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God is faithful (Opening up God’s Word – Genesis 12:1-3; Hebrews 6:13-20)

Our concern is not so much with Abraham. Our chief focus of attention is on "the God of Abraham." The story of Abraham is both the story of Abraham and the story of God's grace and power. We see the grace of God, revealed in the promises of God. We see the power of God, …

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The Lord has much to say to this generation – if only the people would listen …

At the heart of the rebuilding of the Temple, there was worship - “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: ‘He is good; His love to Israel endures for ever” (Ezra 3:11). Those who worship the Lord are set within the context of a world that refuses to worship Him: “The rest of …

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The coming Saviour and the coming Kingdom

Isaiah 10 speaks of a divine judgment, in which the only “survivors” will be those who “depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 10:20). Isaiah 11 contains a Messianic prophecy. These are words, which point forward to our Saviour, Jesus Christ. They are words of the coming Kingdom (Isaiah 11:1-10). Isaiah 12 …

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Lord, You did great things for Israel. You do great things for us.

Lord, You led Your people out of Egypt, through the desert and into Your “holy land” (Psalm 78:52, 42-43,51,54-55). You did great things for Israel. You do great things for us – “You restore our soul. You lead us in the paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). We thank You, Lord, for …

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God loves us … In love, He is waiting for our response of love.

Jesus was making His way to Jerusalem (Luke 13:22). This was the place where He was to be crucified. In the cross of Christ, we see both the hatred of men and the love of God (Luke 13:34-35). (1) In Jerusalem, there had been human hatred directed against the prophets – “you who kill the …

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Christ Has Given Us The Victory.

Revelation 16:1-17:8 We live in an unbelieving and rebellious world - ‘they refused to repent and glorify Him’. In an increasingly hostile environment, we must seek to maintain our faithful’ testimony’. There are many who take delight in sin. They rebel against God. They take pleasure in persecuting the people of God: ‘They will make …

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“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3b).

We enter the Kingdom of God through the new birth. Jesus Christ is "the Door" to God's Kingdom (John 10:9). To those who have come, in faith, to Him, the Lord Jesus says, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27). * Where does the Good Shepherd lead …

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God’s Eternal Love – Our hope of eternal glory comes from love, eternal love, the love of God.

‘Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore’ (Psalm 16:11). In this earthly life, there are many difficulties. For all of God’s people, there is something better still to come. We must look not only at the things which …

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Help us, Lord, to offer our whole life to You – not just the ‘religious’ part of it.

1 Chronicles 26:1-27:34 Lord, You're calling us to serve You. We're to serve You in the world. Before we can serve You in the world, there must be this: "ministering in the House of the Lord" (1 Chronicles 26:12). Part of our worship involves the dedication of "gifts for the maintenance of the House of …

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The Conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch: The Spirit, the Scriptures, the Saviour

* The conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch begins with the call of the Spirit - "The Spirit told Philip, 'Go to that chariot, and stay near it" (Acts 8:29). * It continues with the reading of the Scriptures - The Ethiopian was reading Isaiah the prophet (Acts 8:30) - and  the explaining of the Scriptures - …

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Karl Barth the Preacher – Jesus loves me.

What are we to say about Barth the preacher? Surely, J. S. Stewart has described him well in these words of commendation: “this Colossus of a theologian is basically concerned with simple things… no one reading Barth can have any doubt… (about his) single-hearted devotion to Christ” (Prayer and Preaching, 7, from ‘Preface’ by J. …

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More than ‘telling the truth’ – we are to be witnesses for Christ.

"You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free ... If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:32,36). "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). When we speak about 'the truth' we should, also, speak about Jesus. It is a good thing …

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Lord, help us to move beyond the shallow waters – to move, with You, into the deeper waters of Your love and Your blessing.

Lord, help us to move beyond the shallow waters – to move, with You, into the deeper waters of Your love and Your blessing. We think of deep water – and we think of danger. Yes! There is danger – but there is also something else. You are with us – and You assure us …

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Let Your Commitment To Christ Be Very Definite.

Every church in every nation and every generation has so much to learn from ‘what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2:7,11,17,29). Christ is to be our ‘first love’. We are not to ‘abandon’ Him. We are to ‘keep right on to the end of the road’ - ‘faithful until death’ (Revelation 2:4,10). We …

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God’s Eternal Love – In the end, there will be love, eternal love, the love of God.

Psalm 136:1-26 ‘His love endures for ever’. This is the great message contained in every single verse of this Psalm. It’s a message worth repeating, over and over again! God’s love is an everlasting love: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3). God’s love is an unfailing love: ‘My unfailing love for …

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Approaching the Lord’s Table: Forgiveness, Victory, Faith, God’s Word, God’s Love

As we approach the Lord's Table, let's think about two verses of Scripture. "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). "Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler" (Psalm 91:3). The first of these …

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In our own homes – let us rejoice in the Lord and give thanks to Him.

https://youtu.be/eMY3ivdNzwE We thank You, Lord, for Your Holy Spirit. He works in us to bring blessing to us. He works through us to bring blessing to others. Without the working of Your Spirit, there can be no blessing. May the “living waters” of Your Spirit flow in our hearts and out from our hearts to …

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