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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Amos 7-9 and Obadiah

AMOS 7:1-9:15  -  ‘That’s enough, prophet! Go back to Judah and do your preaching there... Don’t prophesy here at Bethel any more’ (7:12-13). Amos was a faithful preacher of God’s Word - but his hearers wanted to get rid of him! This was the beginning of a time of great darkness: ‘The days are coming …

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The Sin, the Suffering, the Supplication, the Salvation

(1) The Sin "They spoke against God and against Moses, and said, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!’" (Numbers 21:5). (2) The Suffering "Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people …

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Singers From Every Nation And Every Generation

The singers will come “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).  Not just some nations! All nations! Not just this generation! Not just the “now” generation! Every generation will be there. They will come from the past. They will come from the future. This is bigger than the Eurovision Song Contest! …

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Looking back to Christ’s crucifixion, looking forward to His return

We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19). We are to live as those who are awaiting the Day of the Lord’s return (Hebrews 10:25). We look back to what Christ has done for us. We look forward to what He will do for us. Looking back …

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In times of trouble

2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11; Psalm 103:1-12 “In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord” (2 Chronicles 28:22). Times of trouble can lead people towards bitterness and further rebellion against the Lord. On the other hand, times of trouble can be precisely the times when God’s purpose is …

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Each day, we stand between the past and the future.

Each day, we stand between the past and the future. In our prayers, we call upon God to “remember” (Nehemiah 13:14,22,29,31). There are two different kinds of ‘remembering’ here. God remembers His faithful servants. He also remembers those who have been unfaithful. As we face the future, we must be guided by both the Gospel …

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Let us give thanks – with joy.

“At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem”, the keynote of the service was joyful thanksgiving. They gathered together “to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving” (Nehemiah 12:27). “On that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy” (Nehemiah 12:43). They sang “songs of praise and thanksgiving to …

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When we’re down in the valley, the mountain-top experience seems a long way off.

We read, Lord, about ‘the Valley of Vision’ (Isaiah 22:1,5). You are to be our Vision: ‘Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art, Thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping Thy presence my light.’ When we’re down in the valley, the mountain-top …

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If we are to be true followers of Jesus, we must learn to live our lives in the light of eternity.

"Be careful! Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!" (Matthew 17:6). Even after there is divine revelation (Matthew 16:17), the influence of evil can be felt (Matthew 16:23). The warning - "Be careful! Watch out ... !" must never be forgotten. Satan is looking for an opportunity to leads us away from …

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Can Paradise Lost become Paradise Regained? (Genesis 3 and Revelation 12)

'All things, bright and beautiful ... The Lord God made them all' - this is the great, positive message that comes to us from Genesis 1 - but things are very different when we get into Genesis 3: things are not so bright and beautiful. What are we to do? Are we to listen to …

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A true prophet gives the glory to God alone.

Genesis 40:1-23 God gave Joseph power to overcome temptation (chapter 39). Now, He gives him power to interpret dreams. Here, Joseph the dreamer (37:5-11) becomes Joseph the interpreter of dreams. Joseph may be viewed as a prophet: 'Surely the Lord does nothing, without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets' (Amos 3:7). As a …

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Strangers are only friends we’ve never met.

"It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even …

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Do you doubt that the Lord can bring you safely into his eternal kingdom?

"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. …

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When it seems like life is dragging you down

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the …

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There’s a difference between speaking with pride and speaking with faith.

So many people have so many questions. Again and again, we feel that there are so many questions - and so few answers. What are we to say about this? Are we to give up on the search for an answer? or Are we to look away from ourselves to Jesus? Here we need to …

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God is making us the kind of people he wants us to become.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4). Are you going through a hard time? Do you need some encouragement, from the Lord? …

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Beyond the suffering, there’s the triumph.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its …

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We receive love from the Lord, and we share his love with one another.

"Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people" (Philemon, verse 7). Love is not for keeping to ourselves. It's for sharing. When we show love to others, we bring them "great joy," We encourage them. We refresh their hearts. Receive love from the Lord. Receive …

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Before we can become witnesses, we must be worshippers.

2 Chronicles 2:1-5:1; 1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13; Psalm 97:1-12 Worship and witness belong together. The building of the Temple speaks to us of the priority of worship. Before we can become witnesses, we must be worshippers. The ministry of Paul speaks to us of witness: “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible …

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Building the church on earth – and building for the Kingdom of heaven …

Ezra speaks of the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem (Ezra 5:11). Revelation speaks of “God’s Temple in heaven” (Revelation 11:19). Both belong together – building the Church here on earth and building for the Kingdom of heaven. We must never be content with a measure of success in building the Church here on earth. God’s …

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We must not lose sight of the eternal perspective. This is what gives us encouragement.

Here, on earth, there is spiritual warfare. We do not fight in our own strength - "The Lord will go out and fight against those nations" (Zechariah 14:3). when the Lord returns, there will be His triumph over all His enemies: "The Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones will be with …

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There are two things going on.

"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring" (2 Thessalonians …

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God has a message for His Church. It is the message of the Spirit.

God is at work in the life of both the Church and the nation. He has a message for His Church. It is the message of the Spirit: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:29; Revelation 3:6). This message of the Lord concerns His Church. …

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Christ’s Love – Reaching Us, Changing Us And Growing In Us

In Luke 13:1-21, we see Jesus preaching, teaching and healing. At the heart of His ministry, there is love. The story of Jesus’ life on earth is an “old, old story.” It tells us about events which happened about 2,000 years ago. This story is still relevant to our life today. That is because it is …

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